“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,” Ian Ziering, who played Steve Sanders on the former FOX drama, wrote via Instagram on Thursday, August 25. “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.”
Ziering, 54, continued in his social media tribute: “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.”
Tata played Nat Bussichio, the owner of the Peach Pit, on more than 200 episodes of the teen drama before reprising his role during The CW’s 90210 reboot in 2008. The late actor, who even reunited with Tori Spelling and Jennie Garth on their Mystery Girls series in 2014, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 2018, according to Deadline.
Tata’s death comes weeks after the Beverly Hills, 90210 cast came together to mourn the loss of Denise Dowse. Dowse, who played Vice Principal Yvonne Teasley, died at the age of 64 following a meningitis battle.
“This gorgeous inside and out human left us too soon. We all love you so much,” Spelling, 49, wrote via her Instagram Story at the time. “Forever Mrs T[easley].”
Ziering, for his part, wrote: “So heartbreaking to say Denise Dowse has passed away. Throughout all my years working on Beverly Hills 90210, my scenes with Denise will [always] be remembered with the utmost in respect for her talent, and fondness for the loving soul she was. Some of my heartiest off camera laughs were between she and I hammering out the discipline her Mrs. Teasley would dish out to my Steve Sanders. My sincere condolences to her family, and all others who she was dear to. God bless you Denise, pay forward that Legacy Key A.”
Scroll below to see how the Beverly Hills, 90210 alums have honored Tata’s legacy following his death: