Grant Imahara, ‘MythBusters’ host and electrical engineer, dies at 49

Kari Byron, Grant Imahara, Jamie Hyneman and Tory Belleci
“MythBusters” stars, from left, Kari Byron, Grant Imahara, Jamie Hyneman and Tory Belleci arrive at the 2013 Creative Arts Emmy Awards.
(Richard Shotwell / Invision / Associated Press)

Grant Imahara, electrical engineer and longtime TV host of Discovery’s “MythBusters,” has died after suffering a brain aneurysm. He was 49.

The Discovery Channel confirmed Imahara’s death in a statement late Monday. “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,” it read.

Imahara joined the hit science show “MythBusters” in 2005 as the beloved “geek” of the squad, operating electronics and building robots until he left the program along with cohosts Kari Byron and Tory Belleci in 2014. The trio later reunited to host Netflix’s investigative series “White Rabbit Project.”

“Mythbusters” hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman closed out their most recent season on Thursday with a special farewell to “Mythbusters” co-hosts Kari Byron, Tory Belleci and Grant Imahara.

Aug. 22, 2014

Discovery said on its website that Imahara had dedicated his life to using his skills to make people smile. The network said that he was one of the few trained operators for the famed R2-D2 droid from the “Star Wars” franchise and that he engineered the Energizer Bunny’s popular rhythmic beat.


Byron, Belleci and fellow “MythBusters” alum Adam Savage all wrote tributes to their late friend and colleague, sharing goofy behind-the-scenes photos from their “many adventures.”

“Heartbroken and in shock tonight,” Byron tweeted. “We were just talking on the phone. This isn’t real.”

“I just cannot believe it,” Belleci wrote. “I don’t even know what to say. My heart is broken. Goodbye buddy.”

“I’m at a loss. No words,” Savage tweeted. “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.”

Imahara also put his electronics expertise into numerous film projects, working as a visual effects artist in the “Star Wars,” “Matrix,” “Terminator” and “Jurassic Park” franchises, among other films.

Born Grant Masaru Imahara on Oct. 23, 1970, in Los Angeles, he studied electrical engineering at USC before going to work as an animatronics engineer and model maker for Industrial Light & Magic, a designer of movie special effects that was founded by George Lucas. He worked at Lucasfilm for nine years.


Information on survivors was not immediately available.