‘He was a leading force’

‘He was a leading force’

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

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

Bobby Bank/WireImage Joe E. Tata

Joe E. Tata, the actor best known for playing Peach Pit restaurant owner Nat Bussichio in Beverly Hills, 90210, he died. He was 86 years old.

Old one 90210 Co-star Ian Ziering posted the news of Tata’s death Thursday on Instagram. (Representatives for Tata and daughter Kelly did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.)

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

“In the last few months we have lost Jessica Klein, one of the 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 pictures of Tata.

“Joey was really an OG,” Ziering continued. “I remember seeing him on Rockford Archives 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,” noted Ziering. “Although the peach pit was a 90210 set often felt like the backdrop for the Joe E Tata show. The stories of days gone by he would share, amazing experiences in the entertainment industry he was a part of would keep us captivated.”

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

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

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

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

“My smile darkens today, but enjoying good 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 to as well. Rest in peace Joey 🙏”

The Instagram page for the 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,” read 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 Honor ‘Prolific’ ‘Beverly Hills, 90210‘ Costar Denise Dowse after her death

As fans know, Tata played Nat Bussichio in Beverly Hills, 90210 for its 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, bat Man and the time tunnel, according to its IMDb page. His other credits included playing Private Neddick in No time for sergeants 1964-1965) and the 1970s crime drama series The Rockford files.

His final television credit came in 2014 when he played Director Frost on the ABC Family series. Mysterious Girls.

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In October 2021, Tata’s daughter Kelly launched a page on GoFundMe which revealed that her father’s health took a turn for the worse in 2014 and he was officially diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2018.

“Now 86 years old, her illness has progressed to its final stages,” she wrote on the page at the time, created to help with care and travel expenses. “He spends his days scared and confused. The few times I’ve seen him, there’s relief and joy in his eyes.”

She added, “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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