Grant Imahara, star of Discovery Channel's MythBusters and Netflix's White Rabbit Project, has died. Although details were not immediately available, The Hollywood Reporter stated that Imahara died suddenly following a brain aneurysm. An official cause of death following an autopsy has not been confirmed. He was 49.
Imahara's passing was confirmed Monday by a spokesperson for Discovery. In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, the spokesperson said that "we are heartbroken to hear this sad news about Grant." Remembering Imahara as an "important part of our Discovery family and a really wonderful man," the statement went on to read, "our thoughts and prayers go out to his family."
Born in Los Angeles, Imahara studied electrical engineering at the University of Southern California, telling Machine Design in 2008 that he “liked the challenge of designing and building things, figuring out how something works and how to make it better or apply it in a different way.” An electrical engineer and roboticist by training, Imahara later broke into the entertainment world through his work at Lucasfilm's THX and Industrial Light and Magic before working on several major blockbusters.
He appeared on more than 200 episodes of the popular Discovery series MythBusters alongside Kari Byron and Tory Bellici. In 2005, after receiving an invitation from host Jamie Hyneman, Imahara joined the Discovery series during its third season, becoming part of the Build Team, replacing welder Scottie Chapman, and working alongside Byron and Bellici. He would go on to appear in more than 200 episodes, according to Variety, making the robots and other electronics needed for the experiments on the series, sky-diving, and driving stunt cars. In 2014, the trio left the series, reuniting just two years later for the short-lived White Rabbit Project on Netflix. Throughout the series, the team investigated topics like jailbreaks, superpower technology, heists, and World War II weapons through scientific experiments and builds.
Imahara also worked on film and TV sets, becoming chief model maker specializing in animatronics during his nine-year career at Industrial Light and Magic (ILM). He worked on George Lucas' 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. Imahara also starred in several episodes of the fan-made web series Star Trek Continues, portraying Hikaru Sulu, a lieutenant, helmsman and third officer on the USS Enterprise.