'Mythbusters' host Grant Imahara dies at 49

The electrical engineer also operated the famed droid R2-D2 in the "Star Wars" prequels and appeared regularly on the show "Battlebots."

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/ Source: TODAY
By Scott Stump

Grant Imahara, the electrical engineer known for his work on the Discovery Channel show "Mythbusters," has died at 49.

Discovery Communications confirmed Imahara's death in a news release on Monday night, saying that "he dedicated his life to using his skills to make people smile."

Former "Mythbusters" star Grant Imahara has died at 49. Gabe Ginsberg / FilmMagic

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

A company spokeswoman told The New York Times the cause of death is believed to be a brain aneurysm.

Imahara was part of the science show "Mythbusters" for 10 years as a member of its build team before departing the show in 2014. His former "Mythbusters" co-stars expressed their condolences on Monday night.

"I’m at a loss. No words," former co-host Adam 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."

"Somedays I wish I had a time machine," Kari Byron tweeted with a picture of her and Imahara with fellow "Mythbusters" host Tory Belleci.

"I just cannot believe it," Belleci tweeted. "I don’t even know what to say. My heart is broken. Goodbye buddy @grantimahara"

Imahara, Byron and Belleci also co-hosted the 2016 Netflix show "White Rabbit Project," which ranked history's greatest inventions and heists.

In addition, Imahara regularly built combat robots as a competitor on the Comedy Central show "Battlebots" and later became a judge on the show, according to Discovery.

The Los Angeles native also operated the iconic R2-D2 droid in the "Star Wars" prequels as well as the Energizer Bunny. In addition, he worked in animatronics on movies like "The Lost World: Jurassic Park," the "Matrix" sequels and "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines," according to his IMDB page.

Imahara earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California in 1993 and also wrote the book, "Kickin' Bot: An Illustrated Guide to Building Combat Robots," according to his bio on the Discovery website.

He most recently had been working with Disney, where he helped create autonomous robot stunt doubles, according to a 2018 story he shared on Twitter.