Power Rangers Actors You Might Not Know Passed Away

New Jersey native Alissa Ann Bigelow (née Smego) played gymnast Shawna Hilton in “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” Season 2 episode “Forever Friends” and died in 2013. The cause was suicide, her family confirmed to The Boston Globe. Her father, physician Dr. Douglas Smego, told the newspaper that mental illness had become “an epidemic in our country, and it’s flying under the radar, and there’s nobody who’s really paying attention. If we think that medical care is in a shambles, medical care of mental illness is in a true shambles.” She was 38.

Bigelow moved around with her family when she was young, spending time in New York and Kentucky before they settled in Connecticut. “She was the happiest child in the world,” her mother said. “Everything came easy to her. And with her smile, she was always the center of attention.” She graduated from high school in 1993, the year “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” began. She had ambitions of being on the screen, and she moved to California to make that happen.

Bigelow only appeared in one episode of “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers,” but she had a big part in “Forever Friends,” playing a student from rival school Stone Canyon. She went on to pop up in shows like “USA High,” “Boy Meets World,” and “Chicago Hope,” and briefly fronted her own online cooking show before leaving the spotlight. She was teaching yoga at the time of her death. “I’ve never met anybody who willingly gave love so freely,” said Jesse Winder, founder of Karma Yoga studios.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

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