The Post includes with the story of his disapppearance a good prÃ©cis of Peter Beard’s colorful career:
Peter Beard has swum with crocodiles, been charged by rhinos and trampled by a herd of elephants. Writer Bob Colacello once aptly described him as â€œhalf Tarzan, half Byron.â€
For decades, heâ€™s led a larger-than-life existence, both in his work and his romances with some of the worldâ€™s most beautiful women â€” including Candice Bergen, Cheryl Tiegs, Lee Radziwill and â€œFor Your Eyes Onlyâ€ Bond girl Carole Bouquet. Itâ€™s hard to imagine him just fading away.
But on March 31, the 82-year-old wildlife photographer â€” now said to be suffering from dementia â€” wandered away from the luxuriously rustic home in Montauk, Long Island, that he shares with his wife, Nejma, and their daughter, Zara. He hasnâ€™t been seen since. …
Beardâ€™s whereabouts remain a mystery despite an extensive search by 100 police officers, a helicopter, drones and K-9 units. But some who know him remain unfazed.
â€œI was not shocked,â€ model Cheryl Tiegs, who was married to Beard from 1982 until 1986, told The Post of his disappearance.
â€œMaybe someone picked Peter up and he is on a joyride across America. He does pretty wacky things. The night after we got married, he did not come home until dawn.
The photographer made his name by turning photos into one-of-a-kind works of art. Selling for more than $500,000, his creations are splattered with blood and scrawls of ink, and affixed with personal mementos.
â€œI felt beyond privileged to watch him making art, to see him walking around and deciding which pieces got blood and which didnâ€™t,â€ Peter Tunney, Beardâ€™s former business manager and art dealer, told The Post.
â€œI remember a picture of his with Uma Thurmanâ€™s mother [model Nena von SchlebrÃ¼gge] on top of a crashed car. She was there because Peter couldnâ€™t get [the model] Veruschka that day. Salvador DalÃ stood alongside the car.â€
Everyone who knows Beard inevitably brings up his movie-star good looks, penchant for carousing, rough-hewn charm â€” and habit of disappearing when the mood strikes. Friends nicknamed him Walkabout.
However, they reluctantly add, advanced age and hard living have taken a toll. As a longtime pal recalled to The Post: â€œNot long ago, I saw Peter at an event, went up to him and said hello. He didnâ€™t recognize me. And we used to talk on the phone almost every day.â€