This week has been front-loaded with a lot of celebrity loss and the grief that comes with it. While we’re in a global pandemic that has taken over half a million lives, the death of someone like Naya Rivera or Kelly Preston provides a name and face for grief, making the outpouring of emotion so much more pointed and painful since it triggers a focus for the mourning of multitudes.
Grant Imahara, 49, passed away yesterday, reportedly from a brain aneurysm. This one was especially heartbreaking since I felt the need to break the news to my 15-year-old daughter, a huge fan of Mythbusters and Imahara since she was three-years-old. (She once made a light bulb explode in her room because she wanted to experiment on a hot bulb with cold water due to the show. She was fine, but we had to stress the “don’t try this at home” a bit more.) Her face fell and she quietly took in the news that someone so young, talented, and important to her and her love of science was gone.
Imahara was a mechanical engineer with a love of making robots, even assisting in the upgrading and operation of R2-D2 in the Star Wars prequels. He also created Geoff Peterson, the skeleton animatronic that served as the sidekick to Craig Ferguson on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.
Imahara was a judge for Battlebots, a television series he once competed on with his own robotic gladiators. His infectious enthusiasm, unapologetic nerdiness, and zest for life was undeniable and he will be missed in my household and a multitude of others.
Former 'Mythbusters' star Grant Imahara has died at 49 of a brain aneurysm. The late electrical engineer and roboticist created this animatronic Baby Yoda back in March https://t.co/nQYht0WOUJ pic.twitter.com/vNcD1TDKuZ— NowThis (@nowthisnews) July 14, 2020
Heartbroken and in shock tonight. We were just talking on the phone. This isn’t real. pic.twitter.com/8zE2afcwSu— Kari Byron (@KariByron) July 14, 2020
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