Joe E. Tata has died. He was best known for his role as Nat on the TV show Beverly Hills, 90210. He was 85.
His former 90210 co-stars Ian Ziering posted a notice of his passing on Instagram on Thursday. Tata played the role of the Peach Pit’s proprietor.
“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. “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. 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 continued. “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. My sincere condolences go out to his family and friends, and everyone else he was dear. Rest In peace Joey.” Tata was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2018, according to his daughter Kelly, who set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for his care. She had cared for her father until he passed away. “unwittingly signed documents which entered him into a conservatorship. He maintains that he agreed to this conservatorship under duress.”
Kelly Tata added she was admitted to a hospital “amid my own health struggles,” she wrote.
Tata was born in New York City and began his career there, appearing on shows like Mister Roberts, The Outer Limits, and General Hospital. His TV career took off in the ’70s and ’80s, and he was a familiar face on shows like Mannix, Adam-12, The F.B.I., and The Streets of San Francisco, but he became a household figure thanks to his role as the lovable Peach Pit proprietor on 90210. He stayed with the show for a whole decade.
Mystery Girls on ABC Family was his last television appearance. At that point, his health began to “took a turn for the worse,” Kelly wrote.
“Nat was a loving father figure to the kids of West Beverly High,” she wrote. “In real life, my Dad, Joey, is honest, kind, and a truly incredible father.”