Grant Imahara, the engineer and roboticist who rose to fame through a long run on Discovery’s Mythbusters, has passed away at the age of 49. The Hollywood Reporter revealed that the supremely talented robotics icon passed away suddenly following a brain aneurysm.
Imahara’s work has been seen by likely billions of cinema patrons over the decades, as an engineer at Lucasfilm’s THX and Industrial Light and Magic divisions. In his initial career in film effects, he contributed effects to such films as the Star Wars prequels, The Matrix Reloaded, Galaxy Quest, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and many others. He then made a first segue into TV, appearing as a successful contestant and eventual champion over multiple seasons of Comedy Central’s BattleBots, piloting his famous creation “Deadblow.”
He then landed the role that would bring him widespread recognition, on Discovery’s Mythbusters, as one of the five-member mythbusting team that also contained Adam Savage, Jamie Hyneman, Kari Byron and Tory Belleci. On that particular team, Imahara stood out for his robotics expertise as always, often constructing robots for situations or tasks that were too dangerous for human operators. He also did everything from sky-diving to operating stunt vehicles, and was well-known for his robot contributions and consultancy on numerous other TV series.
“We are heartbroken to hear this sad news about Grant,” said a statement from Discovery released late on Monday. “He was an important part of our Discovery family and a really wonderful man. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”
Following Mythbusters, Imahara, Byron and Belleci re-teamed for a single season of the science show White Rabbit Project on Netflix. The former co-workers quickly aired their grief via social media, expressing disbelief that Imahara could be gone.
Former host Adam Savage likewise said the following on Twitter: “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.”
Imahara is actually the second member of the former Mythbusters cast to pass away, after stunt driver and land speed record holder Jessi Combs was killed in a high-speed driving accident in August of 2019.