Whatever Happened to Amy Jo Johnson, a.k.a. the Pink Power Ranger?
It's been almost 30 years since Amy Jo Johnson backflipped into frame to save the day as the Pink Power Ranger.
The actress debuted on the scene as Kimberly Hart — one of five plucky, gymnastically inclined teens with life-altering destinies — in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
As any '90s kid will tell you, the show's 1993 premiere introduced a generation to some of its first superheroes.
Armed with witty one-liners ("have a nice trip, see you next fall," for instance), the pterodactyl Zord and a skirted uniform, Johnson's character was an instant standout and, for many, a gay icon in the making.
Power Rangers became a massive hit, and its first season alone stretched across 60 episodes.
No one, least of all the actors who brought the Rangers to life, knew at the time that they were at the forefront of a cultural phenomena.
"We had this whole year of shooting the series and not knowing if it was going to be popular," Johnson reflected in a 2016 interview with PopCrush. "So when it first aired, it was a real shock, I think, to everybody."
Between 1993 and 1995, Johnson starred in 138 episodes, according to her profile on IMDb.
Not only that, but she appeared in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie. In it, she and her team faced off against the vicious and viscous Ivan Ooze. They ultimately saved the day — again.
But Johnson's time as a Ranger was limited. A third of the way through the third season, she handed over her Ninja Coin to Catherine Sutherland (Kat Hilliard) and said goodbye to the Pink Power Ranger.
After reprising the role one last time in 1997's Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie, Johnson left Kimberly Hart in the past.
In more recent years we've learned the her and her castmates' experiences on the set of Power Rangers was... less than positive.
She told No Pink Spandex that she only made around $600 per week while working on the non-union show, and frequently faced serious danger while filming.
As Alpha 5 would say: "Aye-yi-yi!"
The workplace sounds like it was stressful, but the star still looks back on the time fondly. She said that the show helped set her up for success as an actor. "It taught me so much," she admitted.
Johnson, then a fresh face in Hollywood with a major hit under her belt, found herself at a crossroads after Power Rangers. So, where did she go from there?
Read on to find out where Amy Jo Johnson is today!
Further success in acting
After Power Rangers, Amy Jo Johnson continued to land acting roles.
In fact, she landed several big ones right out of the gate, including a cameo in Saved by the Bell: The New Class and a starring role in a TV movie called Susie Q.
Her next career-making casting came along in 1998. That's when the former Pink Power Ranger landed a starring role in what Time dubbed one of the "100 best TV shows of all time": Felicity.
Johnson starred as Julie Emrick in the first three seasons of the hit show, appearing alongside the likes of Keri Russell (Felicity Porter), Amy Smart (Ruby), Scott Speedman (Ben Covington) and Scott Foley (Noel Crane).
"That one is probably one of the jobs that I’ve had that I’m most proud of. I loved that show. And I thought it was really, really well done," she gushed about the gig during her chat with No Pink Spandex.
Although she stepped back from Felicity following its third season, she returned for the last few episodes of its famous run.
Additionally, Johnson's portrayal of Julie allowed her to show off her musical talents (more on that later).
The character was originally supposed to be a dancer. However, Johnson (who previously displayed incredible gymnastic abilities) told No Pink Spandex that she can't dance.
Amy Jo Johnson Performing in Felicity:
After closing the door on yet another chapter, Johnson continued to land cameos in TV series and movies.
Notably, she enjoyed a 22-episode arc in The Division in 2004 and starred in a police drama called Flashpoint in 2008. Johnson stuck with the latter through 2012.
A shift in focus
In more recent years, Amy Jo Johnson seems to have shifted her focus in different directions. However, there are a couple notable callbacks on her resume.
For starters, there's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo in 2017's Power Rangers reboot, in which the Pink Ranger was played by Aladdin star Naomi Scott.
Johnson and Jason David Frank (the original Green Ranger) appeared as civilians during one of the flick's final fight scenes.
Her final acting credit on IMDb is in a self-directed, self-written digital short called The Has Been, which was uploaded to YouTube in 2020.
It looks like there were plans to turn it into an extended series, which did not come to fruition.
Johnson explained why on YouTube, saying, "I made this silly little short with some friends a few years ago about a spoiled brat, aging actress, who's gone bankrupt and reluctantly has to turn to the comic con world to stay afloat. I had decided right after making this ridiculous first little teaser episode that the idea felt mean and I didn't want to put my efforts into creating a show that just wasn't very nice. So, I stopped pursuing this project."
The series never got to evolve as originally planned, but the general consensus in the comments section is that Johnson still has the spark that set her apart from the very beginning.
A (casual) music career
In a way, Amy Jo Johnson laid the groundwork for the Disney girls whose careers were just on the horizon back in the late '90s and early '00s.
By that we mean the former Pink Power Ranger dabbled in multiple talent pools, including music.
As we mentioned, Johnson's character in Felicity was a musician. That gave the actor an opportunity to sing on the show. According to IMDb, she had two songs featured: "Clear Blue Day" and "Puddle of Grace."
The latter, a Jewel-esque folk ballad with a simple instrumental, is Johnson's most popular song on Spotify.
She released her first album, The Trans-American Treatment, in 2001. Imperfect arrived in 2005, and Never Broken (her most recent) dropped in 2013.
If you get a sense of sadness from her musicality, that's probably because, as Johnson told No Pink Spandex, she normally writes while feeling some sort of way.
But despite dropping three albums and using her music in personal projects, Johnson claimed to have no interest in seriously pursuing a career.
"It’s just sort of my own personal thing that comes in waves for me, and all of a sudden [if I] feel like going and doing a show, so I go do a show," she explained.
Her most recent performance on YouTube is a live recording of a self-penned song called "Breeze Without a Sound."
Watch Amy Jo Johnson Perform "Breeze Without a Sound":
Her directorial run
Amy Jo Johnson's career took on new depth when she decided to explore yet another talent: directing.
We mentioned earlier that her last acting credit was in a self-written and self-directed project, but that wasn't her first foray into directing.
In fact, her first was a pair of short films called Bent and Lines, which premiered in 2013 and 2014, respectively.
Johnson also went on to direct and star in 2017's The Space Between, which was crowdfunded on IndieGoGo. She thanked her fans for helping to raise over $100,000 for the project in an interview with IndieWire.
In 2019, Johnson directed a second feature-length film: Tammy's Always Dying.
Johnson's upcoming directorial project is a fitting throwback to her days as a fan-favorite superhero: an episode of Superman & Lois for The CW.
The "scrappy indie filmmaker" took to Twitter to tease the good news in 2021.
"I'm buzzing with gratitude," she gushed alongside a photo of the clapboard for the episode. Check out the sweet message below:
Her episode should air in spring 2022.
She's big on the convention circuit
Amy Jo Johnson was a defining hero of the '90s, but she apparently wasn't initially aware of her lasting legacy.
“I didn’t really realize how popular my character was until maybe six years ago,” she told IndieWire in 2020.
She's seeing things more clearly now, though, and it looks like Johnson is having a good time revisiting the past as she hits up the convention circuit. The star is now a convention regular and even has a gig already in the books for early 2022.
Yes, she's still friends with many of her OG castmates
Amy Jo Johnson hung up her Power Ranger helmet for good in 1995. (It wasn't very comfortable in the first place by the sounds of it.)
But in the words of another '90s icon: "As we go on / We Remember / All the times we / Had together."
Graduation day from Ranger school is so far in the rearview mirror that you can hardly see it anymore, but Johnson hasn't forgotten her days spent Mighty Morphin. She seems to hold the memories and many of her castmates in high esteem.
In recent years, Johnson shared photos taken with David Yost (the Blue Ranger), Walter E Jones (the Black Ranger) and Jason David Frank (the Green Ranger) on Instagram.
Times have changed, but the memories and bonds remain strong.
And one thing remains clear: Amy Jo Johnson will always be the Pink Power Ranger who showed a generation exactly what it takes to save the day.