Joe E Tata, best known for his role in hit US show Beverly Hills, 90210 has sadly died at the age of 85. He had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease four years ago.
He appeared as Peach Pit diner owner Nat Bussichio in over 200 episodes of the teen drama from 1990 to 2000.
The beloved actor, who sadly battled the form of dementia since 2018, will be fondly remembered by fans of the show as well as his co-stars.
After Joe’s sad passing, his 90210 co-star Ian Ziering took to Instagram to pay tribute.
Sharing a photo of them together on the show, he wrote: “In the last few months we’ve lost Jessica Klein one of 90210’s most prolific writers and producers, Denise Douse who played Mrs. Teasley, and now I’m very sad to say Joe E Tata has passed away.
“Joey was truly an OG, 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.”
He went on: “One of the happiest people I’ve ever worked with, he was as generous with his wisdom as he was with his kindness. Though the peach pit was a 90210 set, It often felt like the backdrop to the Joe E Tata show.
“The stories of days gone by that he would share, incredible experiences in the entertainment industry that he was a part of would keep us all captivated. He may have been in the back of many scenes, but he was a leading force, especially to us guys, on how to appreciate the gift that 90210 was.
“My smile dims today but basking in fond memories moves him from my eyes to my heart where he will always be. My sincere condolences go out to his family and friends, and everyone else he was dear too. Rest In peace Joey.”
Ian’s post was met with an outpouring of love from people who used it to leave their own tributes.
Actress Dawn McCoy commented: “So sad to hear this! He was such an icon for so many.”
While one fan posted: “I’m so so sorry for your loss Ian! Joe is so special and brought so much joy and warmth to our lives every week. Thinking of you all, praying for his comfort and for his family and all his friends and colleagues. What a blessing he was and such a wonderful leader!”
“I loved him on 90210! RIP,” another wrote.
A glittering career
Joe earned many acting credits during a decades-long career on TV.
He made his debut in two episodes of Gomer Pyle, USMC back in 1964, quickly followed up by a string of appearances in No Time for Sergeants.
People may also recognise him for his roles in Batman, Lost in Space, Wonder Woman, Hill Street Blues, General Hospital and Charmed.
His final role came in 2014 when he appeared in an episode of Mystery Girls.
He’d also reprised his 90210 role in 2008 in a new series of the franchise.