The cast of “Beverly Hills, 90210” is paying tribute to Joe E. Tata after his death.
The 85-year-old beloved actor, best known as the owner of the Peach Pit in the long-running show, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014.
News of his death was announced by former castmate Ian Ziering on Instagram, following the recent deaths of two other co-stars.
“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,” Ziering wrote in his post.
“Joey was truly an OG, I remember seeing him on the ‘Rockford Files’ with James Garner years before we worked together on ‘90210.’”
The pair co-starred alongside original series stars Shannen Doherty, Jason Priestley, Tori Spelling, Jennie Garth, Brian Austin Green, Gabrielle Carteris and the late Luke Perry.
“He was often one of the background villains in the original ‘Batman’ series,” Ziering added. “One of the happiest people I’ve ever worked with, he was as generous with his wisdom as he was with his kindness.”
Tata appeared in 238 episodes of “90210” from 1990 to 2000 as Nat Bussichio — the owner of the diner where the high schoolers would hang out.
He reprised his role in several appearances in the show’s spinoff.
Tributes poured in after Tata’s death, with many of his “90210” castmates paying their respects on social media.
“We lost our family and good friend Joe E. Tata,” co-star Tori Spelling wrote on Instagram alongside a series of snaps of the pair.
The actress, who played Donna Martin on the hit show, remembered Tata as being “one of the kindest, funniest, most professional, amazing humans I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with and more importantly being friends with in my entire life.”
Of his sense of humor, Spelling said Tata’s “delivery was always spot on. He kept us in stitches.”
“He made long work days seem short. He was the ultimate professional. Loved listening to the amazing stories he would tell,” she added.
Elsewhere in her emotional tribute, Spelling revealed she asked writers to have Tata’s character walk her down the aisle in the show.
“It meant a lot to me. Personally and professionally,” she explained. “Based on our close real-life friendship and the fact he was a fun, caring, loyal, and protective male role model to me this was as it should be.”
Brian Austin Green also paid tribute to the late actor, sharing a clip of the pair hugging on Instagram.
“Joey was a family member for sure and he will be missed but so fondly remembered,” he wrote.
Actress Jennie Garth, who played Kelly Taylor on the show, wrote, “I have a very sad heart but will always remember that smile and mischievously loving laugh.”
Paying her respects to the other cast members who died, Garth continued, “I feel like there’s a reunion party going on at the Peach Pit in heaven and I find comfort knowing that there will be a seat there for me someday surrounded by my dear friends.
“Sending hugs to all that loved Joey today. Loss is so hard… #beverlyhills90210,” she added.
Elsewhere, Shannen Doherty, who played Brenda Walsh, posted a snap of her and Tata on her Instagram Story as a tribute.
Ziering shared his own tribute to Tata on social media, saying he was a fan of the actor before working with him.
“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 penned.
He said Tata was “one of the happiest people I’ve ever worked with, he was as generous with his wisdom as he was with his kindness.”
Jason Priestly, who played Brandon Walsh in “90210,” wrote in his tribute, “Today we lost my dear friend and TV boss Joe E Tata. Nat Busiccio was a huge part of Beverly Hills 90210 and Joey was a huge part of my life. Rest In Peace Joe. There will never be another.”
Tata’s other credits include “Magnum, P.I.,” “The Rockford Files,” “Hill Street Blues,” “Batman” and “The A-Team.”
His final TV credit was in 2014 when he appeared on ABC Family’s “Mystery Girls,” alongside “90210” costars Spelling and Garth.
The “90210” family lost several costars over the last few years, including actor Luke Perry, who died aged 52 in March 2019.
The actor, who played Dylan McKay on the hit show, was hospitalized after suffering from a stroke and died five days later.
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