Fans of the original Beverly Hills, 90210 were saddened to learn of the death of actor Joe E. Tata, who played Peach Pit owner Nat Bussichio on the series. The character actor is best known for his role in the original series of the popular teen soap series. 90210 co-star Ian Ziering took to Instagram on Aug. 25 to announce Tata’s passing. “Even though the peach pit was a 90210 set, it often felt like the setting of the Joe E Tata show,” he wrote in a lengthy caption paying homage to the late actor.
When news of Tata’s death broke, fans of the popular series took to Twitter to pay their respects. “Joe E. Tata, you are a big part of why Beverly Hills, 90210 is such a special show,” said one fan tweeted. “He was such an important character to the show and a father figure to the gang,” another added.
Though many fans associated Tata with the hit series of the ’90s, the actor had appeared on a number of popular television shows throughout his career, as Ziering mentioned in his post. “The stories of days gone by he would share, incredible experiences in the entertainment industry he was involved with would captivate us all,” wrote the 90210 star. Per IMDb, Tata has appeared on ‘Hogan’s Heroes’, ‘Batman’, ‘The A-Team’ and many other hit shows throughout his successful career — and left him a good chunk of money that he sadly didn’t have access to.
Joe E. Tata signed his fortune
At the time of his death, Joe E. Tata’s net worth was estimated at $3 million per Celebrity Net Worth. But he didn’t have access to it. According to a GoFundMe page started by his daughter Kelly Tata, the actor’s health was declining and he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Kelly wrote that she was separated from him due to her own medical issues, and her father “unwittingly” transferred his finances to a conservatory. The conservator then forced Kelly to move out of her father’s home, prompting Kelly to fundraise to live closer to her father and get a car to visit him more often.
Joe’s last IMDb credit came in 2014 when he appeared in an episode of Mystery Girls. But in 2008, when “Beverly Hills, 90210” rebooted as “90210,” Joe’s Nat Bussichio regained momentum. “The coin is in the air for me,” he told the Associated Press in 2008 (via Today) about his future on the show. “I think it falls under the Magic Test heading: Let’s see if audiences still remember me.” When the 90 series was rebooted again in 2019 — this time as “BH90210” — Nat was noticeably absent. Peach Pit’s owner was a fan favorite, and there were calls to bring his character back for the show’s second season. By this time, however, Joe’s health had put him out of the acting game. Kelly noted that his health took a turn for the worse shortly after his appearance on Mystery Girls.