Beverly Hills 90210 Actor Joe E. Tata dies at 86 after battle with Alzheimer’s disease: ‘He was a leading force’

Joe E. Tata, actor best known for playing Peach Pit restaurant owner Nat Bussichio on Beverly Hills, 90210 is dead. He was 86 years old.

Tata’s daughter Kelly confirmed the news on the GoFundMe page she launched last October to raise funds as the actor struggled with declining health.

“I am devastated to report that my father Joe E. Tata passed away peacefully last night, August 24, 2022,” she wrote. “My dad and I are forever grateful for the love and support of family, friends and fans. I am also especially grateful to Joanna Konjevod for caring for my dad in his later years and for having me allowed to be there to hold his hand in his final moments.”

Kelly previously shared that her father was officially diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2018, and during Thursday’s GoFundMe update she wrote, “The remaining funds raised through this campaign will be donated to the Association Alzheimer’s.”

“Please continue to keep us in your prayers as I mourn the loss of my best friend,” she asked, signing “All my love, Kelly Katherine.”

BEVERLY HILLS, 90210, Joe E. Tata, 1990-2000

BEVERLY HILLS, 90210, Joe E. Tata, 1990-2000

Courtesy of Everett Collection Joe E. Tata in Beverly Hills, 90210

Ancient 90210 Costar Ian Ziering posted about Tata’s death on Instagram earlier today on Thursday.

In a moving tribute, Ziering noted how Tata’s death came after the cast and crew recently lost two other members of their 90210 family.

“In recent months we have lost Jessica Klein, one of 90210most prolific writers and producers, Denise [Dowse] who played Mrs Teasley, and now I’m very sad to say that Joe E Tata has passed away,” he wrote alongside two photos of Tata.

Joe E. Tata attends day two of the Chiller Theater Expo at Sheraton Parsippany Hotel on April 25, 2015 in Parsippany, New Jersey.

Joe E. Tata attends day two of the Chiller Theater Expo at Sheraton Parsippany Hotel on April 25, 2015 in Parsippany, New Jersey.

Bobby Bank/WireImage Joe E. Tata

“Joey was definitely an OG,” Ziering continued. “I remember seeing him on the Rockford Files with James Garner years before we worked together on 90210. He was often one of the background villains in the original Batman series.”

“One of the happiest people I’ve ever worked with, he was as generous with his wisdom as he was with his kindness,” Ziering noted. “Although the peach pit was a 90210 together it often looked like the backdrop of the Joe E Tata show. The stories of days gone by that he shared, the incredible experiences in the entertainment industry that he was a part of would keep us all captivated.”

BEVERLY HILLS 90210, (left to right): Ian Ziering, Joe E. Tata, Hilary Swank, 'Forgive and Forget', (Season 8, aired September 17, 1997), 1990-2000.

BEVERLY HILLS 90210, (left to right): Ian Ziering, Joe E. Tata, Hilary Swank, ‘Forgive and Forget’, (Season 8, aired September 17, 1997), 1990-2000.

Aaron Spelling Prods/Courtesy of Everett Collection Joe E. Tata in Beverly Hills, 90210

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Although Tata “may have been in the background of many scenes”, Ziering said “he was a leading force, especially for us guys, on how to appreciate the gift that 90210 has been.”

“My smile is fading today, but basking in fond memories brings it from my eyes to my heart where it will always be,” he concluded. “My heartfelt condolences go out to his family and friends and everyone who was dear to him. Rest in peace Joey 🙏”

The Instagram page of 90210MG The podcast co-hosted by Ziering co-stars Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling also paid tribute to Tata on Thursday.

“RIP Joe E. Tata,” reads the caption. “We are heartbroken by this news…thinking of his friends and family…Nat is forever in our hearts ❤”

RELATED: Jennie Garth, Tori Spelling ‘Prolific’ Honor ‘Beverly Hills, 90210‘ Costar Denise Dowse after her death

As fans know, Tata portrayed Nat Bussichio on Beverly Hills, 90210 for his entire run from 1990 to 2000. He later reprized his role in the 2008 CW spin-off 90210.

The Bronx-born actor was also known for his roles in the 1966 television series, Batman and The tunnel of time, according to its IMDb page. His other credits included the role of Private Neddick on No time for sergeants from 1964 to 1965) and the 1970s crime drama series The Rockford Files.

His last TV credit came in 2014 when he played Principal Frost on ABC Family’s Mystery Girls.

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When Tata’s daughter launched her GoFundMe page, she summed up her life this way: “Nat was a loving father figure to the kids at West Beverly High. In real life, my dad, Joey, is honest, kind and a truly amazing father.”


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