Electrical engineer and host of the science shows Mythbusters and White Rabbit Project Grant Imahara is dead at 49, the Discovery Channel said Monday.
"We are heartbroken to hear this sad news about Grant," the network 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."
The host's cause of death has not been publicly revealed, but according to the Hollywood Reporter, he "died suddenly following a brain aneurysm."
Imahara began his career as an electrical engineer at Lucasfilm THX in 1993. In 1996, he moved to Lucasfilm's Industrial Light and Magic division. In his eight years at ILM, Imahara rose to the position of lead modelmaker, specializing in robotics and electronic and radio control. He was a chief architect of the technology behind the robot R2-D2 during the development of the Star Wars prequel films and one of only three people in the United States authorized to operate the robots used for filming.
Imahara joined Mythbusters, a popular reality television show where the hosts used science to disprove urban legends, in its third season in 2005. As a member of the show's "Build Team," he used his expertise in engineering and robotics debunk myths for nine years, appearing in more than 200 episodes.
In 2016, Imahara and two of his Mythbusters cohosts, Kari Byron and Tory Belleci, starred in a Netflix show with a similar premise, called White Rabbit Project.
His colleagues and friends expressed shock and disbelief on social media in the wake of the news.
Adam Savage, who worked with Imahara at Lucasfilm and the Discovery Channel, said he had "no words" after learning the news.
On Reddit, thousands of Imahara's fans paid tribute to his legacy, with many people commenting that watching him on Mythbusters inspired them to pursue careers in science.
"The engineering community has lost a big light today," wrote one commenter.
"[Mythbusters] would not have been anywhere near the success it was without him, and for me he embodies everything about both the show's ethos and what a true engineer should represent."