Grant Imahara, an electrical engineer and roboticist who was the host of the famous science show MythBusters and Netflix’s White Rabbit Project, has died. He was 49.
Grant Imahara’s Cause of Death
The Hollywood Reporter has learned that a tumor in Imahara’s brain led to his sudden death. “It breaks our hearts to hear about Grant’s bad news. He was a great person and an important part of our Discovery team.” “His family is in our thoughts and prayers,” a Discovery spokesperson said in a statement on Monday.
Grant Imahara Career
Electrical engineer and roboticist by trade, he replaced Scottie Chapman on Discovery’s MythBusters in its third season. He stayed with the show until 2014, when he and co-hosts Kari Byron and Tory Belleci quit.
The three would work together again in 2016 on the one-season Netflix show White Rabbit Project. Imahara used his technical skills on MythBusters to create and build robots and run the computers and electronics that were needed to test the myths.
As a member of the MythBusters team, he skydived and drove stunt cars. On film sets, he worked with some of the most famous characters in movie history. For example, he put lights on R2-D2 from Star Wars, made the robot Geoff Peterson for The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson, and helped make the Energizer Bunny.
Imahara was born in Los Angeles on October 23, 1970. He went to the University of Southern California to study electrical engineering, though he quickly changed his mind and wanted to be a screenwriter. After graduating, he combined his two interests and got a job at THX Labs, which is connected to Lucasfilm.
During his nine years at Lucasfilm, he worked for the company’s THX and Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) units. During his time at ILM, he became the chief model maker and specialized in animatronics.
He worked on George Lucas’s 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.
In 2000, Imahara also participated in Comedy Central’s BattleBots with a robot he built himself called “Deadblow.” “Deadblow” won two Middleweight Rumbles, was the runner-up in the Middleweight division in the first season, and was the top-ranked robot in the third season.
In the 2000s, when computer images started to replace model-making, Belleci suggested that Imahara join the Discovery show MythBusters, which he co-hosted. As a co-host, he became what he called a “human guinea pig,” but if they thought a situation was too dangerous for people, they made machines to test it instead.
Imahara was also in several episodes of Star Trek Continues, a fan-made web show. In the show that was an unofficial continuation of Star Trek: The Original Series, he played Hikaru Sulu, a lieutenant, helmsman, and third officer on the USS Enterprise.
In an interview with Machine Design in 2008, Imahara said that he wanted to be an engineer because “I liked the challenge of designing and building things, figuring out how something works and how to make it better or use it in a different way.“
I never wished I could be James Bond when I was a kid. I wanted to be Q because he made all the cool things. You could say that engineering was something that came easily to me.”
Rememebring Grant Imahara
Monday night, Imahara’s MythBusters and White Rabbit Project co-host Byron wrote, “Sometimes I wish I had a time machine,” along with a picture of 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 posted 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.”
— Kari Byron (@KariByron) July 13, 2020
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