MythBusters Host Grant Imahara Dead at 49

Television

Grant Imahara, the host of the long-running science show MythBusters and Netflix’s White Rabbit Project, has died. He was 49 years old.

Imahara died suddenly after a brain aneurysm on Monday, July 13, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“We are heartbroken to hear this sad news about Grant,” Discovery said in statement to TV Guide. “He was an important part of our Discovery family and a really wonderful man. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”

Imahara was born in Los Angeles and studied electrical engineering at the University of Southern California. After graduation, he worked for Lucasfilm’s THX labs, eventually joining Industrial Light and Magic and working on animatronics and models in the Star Wars prequels (he helped update the R2-D2 robots), as well as movies in the Jurassic Park, Matrix, and Terminator franchises, among others.

He joined MythBusters in 2005, serving as the show’s co-host and third member of the Build Team, alongside Kari Byron and Tory Belleci. Nearly a decade later, the trio left the show together in 2014, only to reunite for Netflix’s 10-episode series White Rabbit Project. Byron shared photos of her late co-host on social media on Monday evening, writing in one tweet, “Somedays I wish I had a time machine.”

MythBusters co-star Adam Savage also paid tribute on Twitter, writing, “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 addition to MythBusters and White Rabbit, Imahara was enmeshed in the geek pop culture scene, appearing in several Star Trek fan films; a Sharknado movie; the BattleBots series; and more. He even worked on the Energizer Bunny robot.

In a 2014 article for MakeZine, Imahara wrote that playing with Lego at a young age “helped shape the way I look at solving problems.” Years later, in high school, he saw a glimpse of his future. “I only learned what an engineer was from a college guidance counselor. When she described it, a light clicked on in my head, and I said, ‘Yes, that’s what I want to do.’ “

In another interview with Machine Design, Imahara said engineering came naturally to him. “When I was a kid, I never wanted to be James Bond,” he said. “I wanted to be Q, because he was the guy who made all the gadgets.”

Imahara is survived by his partner, costume designer Jennifer Newman, who posted a tribute on Twitter. “I haven’t found the words. I don’t know if I’ll be able to. I lost a part of my heart and soul today,” she wrote. “He was so generous and kind, so endlessly sweet and so loved by his incredible friends. I feel so lucky to have known him, to have loved & been loved by him.”

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