David Yost

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David Yost
David29.jpg
David Yost, 2004.
Born David Harold Yost
(1969-01-07) January 7, 1969 (age 45)
Council Bluffs, Iowa
Alma mater Graceland University
Occupation Actor, film producer
Years active 1989–present

David Harold Yost (born January 7, 1969) is an American actor and producer known for his role of Billy Cranston on the television series Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie and Power Rangers Zeo.

Early life[edit]

Yost was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa and moved around throughout the United States, winning many gymnastics competitions nationally, most notably the state championships Iowa and Montana. In 1987, he graduated from Amador Valley High School in Pleasanton, CA. In 1991, graduated from Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa with a B.A. in Communication and Dramatic Arts. He moved to California with hopes of becoming an actor and auditioned for a role in the Power Rangers series only three months after arriving. He won the part of Billy Cranston, the Blue Power Ranger.

Power Rangers[edit]

Yost starred in more than two hundred episodes of the show's first four seasons. He was the only Ranger to appear in every single episode of the original series, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, playing the part of Billy, the Blue Ranger. With powers and motifs based on creatures such as the Triceratops and Wolf, the Mighty Morphin Blue Ranger is still one of the most popular in the franchise thanks to Yost's commitment to the role; Billy never switched colors or passed on his power coins to successors like the rest of the original cast. Yost's most high-profile work was his appearance in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, which took in over thirty million dollars at the box office in 1995. The movie was in theaters between the second and third seasons of M.M.P.R. and served as a non-canonical alternate opening for the third season.

After Mighty Morphin Power Rangers ended and Power Rangers Zeo began in the fourth season, Yost stayed as Billy, but Billy's role within the show changed. Instead of his previous role as a Power Ranger, he became a technical advisor to the others. When asked about the change in a 2010 interview, Yost was evasive about how he'd personally felt about this but said he understood why the production team did it; He stated Haim Saban was interested in Super Sentai''s cast turnover and believes this was part of it.[1] Yost eventually left the show toward the end of the Power Rangers Zeo season. His character's final episode, "Rangers of Two Worlds", employed footage from previous episodes as well as vocal work from a separate, uncredited actor, to conceal the fact that Yost was not present during the taping. A tribute to the Blue Ranger and Billy was seen in the closing credits of this last Billy episode.

Coming Out[edit]

While it was originally believed that he had left the series due to insufficient pay, Yost later revealed in his 2010 interview with No Pink Spandex that he left the series because he could no longer handle harassment by the production crew that targeted his sexual orientation. According to Yost, he was often called a "faggot", and the producers frequently questioned other cast members in private about Yost's sexuality. Yost left late in the fourth season after a week of contemplation instead of continuing work another six months into the second film. He claims that his co-workers involved with writing, filming and producing the show considered him "not worthy" to be where he was and that he "could not be a superhero" because of his homosexuality.[2][3]

Scott Page-Pagter, a producer of the show starting with Power Rangers Zeo,[4] responded through TMZ that Yost actually left over a pay bonus being dropped but did not elaborate further or dispute any of Yost's claims about the outside reasons for leaving the show. Saban Entertainment made no official statement regarding the subject.[5]

Post-Power Rangers[edit]

After Yost left Power Rangers, he tried to get rid of his homosexuality with conversion therapy for two years, but was unsuccessful. Eventually Yost had a nervous breakdown which resulted in his psychiatric hospitalization for five weeks. After Yost checked out, he moved to Mexico for a year and eventually accepted his sexuality.[3]

In 1996, Yost had a leading role in the movie Ladykiller as Josh White. In 2000, he portrayed a Playboy photographer in the made-for-television movie After Diff'rent Strokes: When the Laughter Stopped. He was an associate producer for another made-for-television movie, The Mary Kay Letourneau Story, that same year. In 2001, he first tried his hand at producing, working on the series Alien Hunter and Temptation Island, but he had not acted in front of the camera in some four years, at least since 1997. He worked as the director of production for Sci-Fi Lab, headed by the Sci-Fi Channel. Yost was then the manager of licensing for Pioneer Entertainment, where he sold completed television shows and films to such networks as Showtime, Starz/Encore and Cartoon Network.

In 2002, Yost performed in a play called Fallen Guardian Angels at "the complex" located in Los Angeles for A.P.L.A. (A.I.D.S. Project Los Angeles). The play was about six actors dealing with HIV in various situations. The proceeds went to benefit The Children's Hospitals AIDS Center. The entire production raised over $25,000 and Yost himself raised $5,000 for the hospital and received good reviews from LA Weekly Theatre. In 2004, he worked as a field producer for a U.K. documentary series called You Are What You Eat.

David appeared at the Anime Festival Orlando in Florida in August 2010.[6]

Yost has participated in the NOH8 Campaign.[7]

Yost appeared at Power Morphicon 2012 in Pasadena, California along with his former co-stars.[8]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

TV[edit]

Producer[edit]

Miscellaneous crew[edit]

  • Revisiting 'Fail-Safe' (2000) (V) (special thanks)

References[edit]

External links[edit]