MythBusters star Grant Imahara unexpectedly died on Monday, with sources indicating that he suffered a sudden brain aneurysm while at home. The news understandably shocked and dismayed fans of his work, which goes way beyond what we saw on Mythbusters. In addition to his work there (and on related show White Rabbit Project), he was a trained engineer and roboticist, working for ILM on animatronics for major movies, with his projects featuring in The Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and Star Wars: Attack of the Clones (where he was responsible for R2-D2).
But despite being a key part of some of the biggest movies of all time, it was his work on the Discovery Channel hit MythBusters for which he came to be known to the public at large. Imahara debuted in the third season and remained a part of the crew until 2014, quickly becoming a charismatic and likeable mainstay of the show.
A spokesman for the channel released the following statement after hearing the sad news:
“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. 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.”
And, of course, there’s been an outpouring of grief on social media from friends, co-workers and fans alike, as you can see below:
Grant Imahara was as good as a person can get. Universally beloved and always creating- creating friends, creating robots, creating memories. Shocked and in disbelief at the hole he will leave in our lives pic.twitter.com/wk2ZseHfJm
— Alex Hirsch (@_AlexHirsch) July 14, 2020
Grant was a HUGE influence on the Geek & Asian American community. He gave AA representation on TV and in the geek world with his smarts and good looks. #representasian #RIPGrant pic.twitter.com/YyW8y9pPWh
— Laura ลอร'า 劳拉 🍥 (@lsirikul) July 14, 2020
oh man, this one hurts. watching Grant and Kari on Mythbusters was formative for me. definitely nudged me toward tech. RIP my man. https://t.co/Df8oe4hvCR
— robert (@roblmn) July 14, 2020
MythBusters was a very formative show for me, and @grantimahara's creations were a big reason why. An engineer's engineer, and funny as hell. Farewell Grant. Thank you for Making the world a better place.😭 pic.twitter.com/7hXd3Z46JO
— Max Fagin 🚀🔴🌐☄🌘 (@MaxFagin) July 14, 2020
In my limited encounters with him I always found him to be kind and warm. Keeping him and all my mourning friends in my thoughts right now. https://t.co/QhEvV1GJX7
— Hal Lublin (He/Him) (@hallublin) July 14, 2020
I don’t know a single person who didn’t love watching Mythbusters. This is heartbreaking. https://t.co/EDhIHlThge
— Nerd Girl Says (@Rachael_Conrad) July 14, 2020
RIP Grant Imahara 😥 May the force be with you always… pic.twitter.com/giKuBXcDK3
— Johnny G ⚫⚪ (@jongankt18) July 14, 2020
More recently, Imahara had been working on a Walt Disney Imagineering project to create autonomous robot stunt doubles, as well as acting as a mechanical designer for California based effects company Spectral Motion. Pictures posted to his Twitter account revealed that even during the Coronavirus lockdowns, he’d continued to work, showing off a tangled collection of electronics equipment I won’t even pretend to understand.
RIP Grant Imahara 1970-2020.