UPDATED with cause of death: Grant Imahara, a former MythBusters and White Rabbit Project host who earlier worked as a modelmaker for Industrial Light + Magic, died Monday of a a brain aneurysm. He was 49. A Discovery spokesperson confirmed the news but did not provide details.
Imahara co-hosted more than 200 episodes of Discovery’s MythBusters starting with Season 3 in 2005 and remained with the show until 2014. He had made a handful of appearances since.
Former longtime Mythbusters host Adam Savage tweeted tonight: “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.”
In 2014, Imahara and fellow MythBusters builders Kari Byron and Tory Belleci left the series to host Netflix’s White Rabbit Project. The series, in which the trio did experiments and builds on topics ranging from famous heists to World War II weaponry, ran for one season in late 2016.
Imahara worked on Geoff Peterson, the robotic sidekick on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson that was voiced by Josh Robert Thompson. The engineer also made multiple appearances on the CBS show.
Born on October 23, 1970, in Los Angeles, Imahara had a background in robotics and physics when joined Lucasfilm’s THX and later moved to its VFX unit ILM. During his nearly decade-long tenure, he worked on such blockbuster movies as Jurassic Park, The Matrix, The Terminator, xXx and the reissues of the original Star Wars trilogy. His ILM credits also include Galaxy Quest, Van Helsing and Steven Spielberg’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence.
Imahara also served as a contestant and a judge on BattleBots, played Sulu on the fan-created web series Star Trek Continues and appeared in Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!