Grant Imahara, a Mythbusters personality and a previous member of the Discovery family, is dead at 49. News broke Monday the the well-liked Hollywood figure had passed away, with news indicating it happened quickly. Imahara suffered from a brain aneurysm and died suddenly.
In his professional life Grant Imahara was an engineer and a roboticist who had studied electrical engineering in college and went on to apply his knowledge on television. On Discovery, he was most notable for the long-running series Mythbusters, in which he appeared between 2005 and 2014 after Scottie Chapman left the series.
His end on Discovery was a little dramatic, as Mythbusters sought to cut costs and later dropped more than half its cast, leaving Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage to fend for themselves. Even the two hosts were later replaced, in a way, thanks to Search for the Next Mythbusters. He later went on to headline White Rabbit Project on Netflix, which reunited him with his Mythbusters co-stars Kari Byron and Tory Belleci.
Imahara was also an actor, appearing as Sulu in Star Trek Continues and popping up in projects such as Drunk History, Eureka, and Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! In his earlier years in Hollywood he worked as a model maker and more for ILM, including on George Lucas’ Star Wars prequels and other big projects such as The Matrix: Reloaded, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, and AI: Artificial Intelligence. One of his most recent social media posts had him spending time with a version of the one and only Baby Yoda, of The Mandalorian fame, that he had created from scratch.
A representative for Discovery responded to TMZ sharing the news, noting,
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.
Like any good creator, Grant Imahara had his hands in a lot of different projects over the years. He helped create Geoff Peterson, the robot who was long the sidekick on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. He was one of the few people who was able to operate R2-D2 as a robot – and that’s a very short list. He also worked on the Energizer Bunny and made that character more consistent by creating a custom circuit to keep the bunny’s arms and ears moving at a consistent rate.
You may never know when you’re looking at robotics from the past couple of decades whether or not Grant Imahara worked some magic into them. But he leaves behind a large volume of output and very creative projects as well. He will be missed. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends, as well as the Mythbusters family during this time.