Iconic 1990s ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’ Actor Dies At 85

We Are Iowa Local 5 News

Fans of the original 1990s show “Beverly Hills 90210” will remember the Peach Pit diner, which was a popular place to hang out after school. The diner’s owner was Nat Bussichio, and he often gave the teens fatherly advice.

Bussichio was played by character actor Joe E. Tata who acted on the show all 10 seasons and even reprised his role on the show years later during the remake in 2008.

What fans may not know is that Tata suffered from Alzheimer’s. According to his daughter, Kelly Tata, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2018. Four years earlier, in 2014, when her father’s health started to decline, she dropped everything and moved in with her father to help take care of him. In 2019, he ended up in a conservatorship that prevented his daughter from living him and visiting him whenever she wanted, so she ended up started a GoFundMe to help pay for her travel expenses to be as close to her father as possible.

She regularly updated the GoFundMe page with updates about her dad, but the last update announced his death. She wrote, “I am devastated to report that my father Joe E. Tata passed away peacefully last night, August 24, 2022.My father and I are forever grateful for the love and support of family, friends, and fans. I’m also especially grateful to Joanna Konjevod for caring for my father in his final years and allowing me to be there to hold his hand in his final moments.” She added that the GoFundMe donation would go to the Alzheimer’s Association. She ended the update by writing, “Please continue to keep us in your prayers as I grieve the loss of my best friend.”

Watch the video below for an overview of Tata’s life, career and death at the age of 85.

Kelly Tata described her father as “honest, kind, and a truly incredible father.” Many cast members from the original “Beverly Hills 90210” have also shared kind words about Tata since learning about his passing.

Ian Ziering, who played Steve Sanders, described Tata as “One of the happiest people I’ve ever worked with, he was as generous with his wisdom as he was with his kindness.”


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A post shared by Ian Ziering (@ianziering)

Tori Spelling, who played Donna Martin on “Beverly Hills 90210,” also shared kind words about Tata. She wrote that he was, “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. I never saw him without a big smile on his face. His humor was uniquely Joey and his delivery was always spot on. He kept us in stitches.”


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A post shared by Tori Spelling (@torispelling)

Were you a fan of “Beverly Hills 90210”?