Ian Ziering, Tori Spelling and More Beverly Hills 90210 Cast Members Pay Tribute to Joe E. Tata

·4 min read

The cast of Beverly Hills, 90210 is remembering Joe E. Tata after his death.

The actor, best known for playing Peach Pit diner owner Nat Bussichio on the long-running series, died at the age of 86 after previously being diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

Many stars on the show reacted to the news on Instagram, paying tribute to the late actor.

Sharing a sentimental set of photos of her and Tata through the years, Tori Spelling wrote, "We lost our family and good friend Joe E. Tata 💔… "

She remembered him 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."

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Of his sense of humor, Spelling said Tata's "delivery was always spot on. He kept us in stitches."

Crediting him as the "ultimate professional," Spelling said he was a highlight of her work day.

Likening Tata to her real-life father Aaron, who died in 2006, Spelling referenced the first photo in her Instagram post — in which Tata's Nat walked Spelling's Donna Martin down the aisle on the show. Spelling said that was a request she gave the writers. "It meant a lot to me. Personally and professionally. 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."

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

Aaron Spelling Prods Joe E. Tata on Beverly Hills, 90210

After sharing special memories she and Tata shared, she praised the late actor for always being there when she needed him, on and off set.

"I'm glad he's finally at peace. Joey have a drink with my Dad! Xo," Spelling ended her tribute.

Sharing a recent video of him and Tata hugging, Brian Austin Green wrote, "Joey was a family member for sure and he will be missed but so fondly remembered ❤️."

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Jennie Garth also acknowledged the "great loss" on Instagram with two photos of her posing with Tata and Spelling.

"I have a very sad heart but will always remember that smile and mischievously loving laugh," Garth wrote.

Acknowledging other Beverly Hills, 90210 stars that have also died, Garth added, "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 concluded.

For her tribute, Shannen Doherty simply shared a photo of her and Tata on the series via her Instagram Story.

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Shannen Doherty/Instagram
Shannen Doherty/Instagram

Shannen Doherty/Instagram

In his own message, Ian Ziering recalled being a fan of Tata before working with him on the series.

"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 wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of Tata on set, followed by an image of him and Tata smiling together.

He added in part that 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."

"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," Ziering wrote of Tata. "My smile dims today but basking in fond memories moves him from my eyes to my heart where he will always be."

Jason Priestley also paid homage to Tata with a throwback snap of them at a black-tie event.

"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," he wrote.

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

Kelly previously shared that her father was officially diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease in 2018, and on Thursday's GoFundMe update, she wrote, "The remaining funds raised from this campaign will be donated to the Alzheimer's Association."