Padma Atluri, a TV scribe who worked on such series as “90210” and “Men in Trees,” died Jan. 8 in Los Angeles of a rare form of uterine cancer. She was 39.
Atluri died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. She had been diagnosed with the cancer last year and underwent surgery. She returned to work on “90210” in June and was working on the CW series as late as last month. She most recently penned the seg that will air on Feb. 21 and run with a dedication to the scribe.
“She was a terrific writer whose scripts bristled with vitality,” said “90210” exec producer Rebecca Sinclair. “She was an excellent producer whose incredible charisma and good humor endeared her to every single member of our cast and crew. And as a friend, she was peerless. Generous, gregarious, brave and hilarious, Padma was a great person and a truly good person. Padma was special. She was incandescent. We miss her terribly and will be inspired by her forever.”
Atluri grew up in Huntington Beach, Calif. She went to U. of Southern California as an undergrad studying business administration, followed by graduate school at Boston U. She began her showbiz career in the PR department of HBO, working on awards and festivals. There she befriended a number of writers, including Cindy Chupack and Liz Tigelaar, who helped her transition to writing for the ABC dramedy “Men in Trees” in 2006. She also wrote articles for the Huffington Post, Marie Claire and O: The Oprah Winfrey Magazine.
In a May interview for the Boston U. alumni newsletter, Atluri said she grew up watching “I Love Lucy,” “Mary Tyler Moore,” “Family Ties” and “Growing Pains.” She always wanted to write for TV because “I understood television was such a powerful medium, and that there was such an opportunity to educate people about the important issues — and how we can best facilitate behavioral changes as a society.”
Atluri’s survivors include her mother, a brother and a sister.”