Grant Imahara, an electrical engineer and roboticist who hosted the popular science show MythBusters and Netflix’s White Rabbit Project, has died at his age of 49.
According to The hollywood Reporter, Imahara died suddenly after a brain aneurysm. Following that representative from Discovery also confirmed the news and said, “We are heartbroken to hear this sad news about Grant. He was an important part of our Discovery family and a really wonderful man. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”
An electrical engineer and roboticist by training, he joined Discovery’s MythBusters in its third season, replacing Scottie Chapman and was with the show until 2014 when he left with with co-hosts Kari Byron and Tory Belleci. The trio would reunite in 2016 for Netflix’s White Rabbit Project which lasted for one season. On MythBusters, Imahara used his technical expertise to design and build robots for the show and also operated the computers and electronics needed to test myths.
While part of the Mythbusters team, he sky-dived and drove stunt cars, on film sets he came into contact with some of the most iconic characters in screen history, installing lights onto Star Wars’ R2-D2, creating the robot Geoff Peterson for The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson and working on the Energizer Bunny.
— Kari Byron (@KariByron) July 13, 2020
On Monday evening, Imahara’s MythBusters and White Rabbit Project co-host Byron tweeted, “Sometimes I wish I had a time machine,” and included a picture with Imahara and Belleci.
I’m at a loss. No words. I’ve been part of two big families with Grant Imahara over the last 22 years. Grant was a truly brilliant engineer, artist and performer, but also just such a generous, easygoing, and gentle PERSON. Working with Grant was so much fun. I’ll miss my friend.
— Adam Savage (@donttrythis) July 14, 2020
Later on Monday, Mythbusters co-host Adam Savage also tweeted: “I’m at a loss. No words. I’ve been part of two big families with Grant Imahara over the last 22 years. Grant was a truly brilliant engineer, artist and performer, but also just such a generous, easygoing, and gentle PERSON. Working with Grant was so much fun. I’ll miss my friend.”
Born in Los Angeles, Imahara studied electrical engineering at the University of Southern California (though he briefly had doubts and wanted to become a screenwriter) before combining the two passions and landing a post-graduation gig at Lucasfilm-associated THX labs. In his 9 years at Lucasfilm, he became chief model maker specializing in animatronics and worked on George Lucas’ Star Wars prequels, as well as The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions, Galaxy Quest, XXX: State of the Union, Van Helsing, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, A.I. Artificial Intelligence and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.
Alongside his scientific attributes, Imahara began to delve further into the world of TV and became a cast member and story writer for the short film Architects of Evil, created for the 2004 Industrial Light and Magic Backyard Film Contest.
He also portrayed Mr. Sulu in all 11 episodes of the web series Star Trek Continues and played Lt. Masaru in the 2015 movie Star Trek Renegades.
I grew up watching Mythbusters and watching Grant do all these insane myths and they were awesome. RIP, Grant!