Joe E. Tata, who played Nat Bussichio on the ’90s teen drama “Beverly Hills, 90210,” has died after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was 85 years old.
Tata’s daughter, Kelly Tata, announced her father “went to sleep peacefully last night” on a GoFundMe page Thursday. Kelly created the page in October 2021 to help her father navigate his condition with Alzheimer’s disease, which she said he was diagnosed with in 2018.
“My father and I are forever grateful for the love and support of family, friends, and fans,” Kelly wrote Thursday. “Please continue to keep us in your prayers as I grieve the loss of my best friend.”
Kelly said the remaining funds collected from the fundraiser will be donated to the nonprofit Alzheimer’s Association. A representative for GoFundMe verified the authenticity of Kelly’s fundraising page.
Ian Ziering, Tata’s co-star on “Beverly Hills 90210,” confirmed Tata’s death on Instagram.”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.
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Ziering continued. “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.”
More ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’ stars pay tribute to Tata
Jason Priestley, who played Brandon Walsh on “90210,” also paid tribute to Tata.
“Today we lost my dear friend and TV boss Joe E Tata,” Priestley wrote on Instagram. “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.”
Ziering’s co-stars Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling announced the news on their Instagram pages.
“R.I.P. Joe E. Tata,” the post’s caption read. “We are heartbroken by this news…thinking of his friends and family….Nat is forever in our hearts.”
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Jennie Garth, who played Kelly Taylor on “90210,” said on Instagram Tata’s death was “another great loss for our family today.”
Although Garth said her heart was sad, she will always remember Tata’s smile and mischievous laugh.
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.”
Tata reprised the role of Nat Bussichio in 2008. She appeared in three episodes of the CW reboot “90210.” The show starred Shenae Grimes-Beech, Tristan Mack Wilds and AnnaLynne McCord.
He made an appearance on the ABC Family sitcom “Mystery Girls” in 2014.
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