Peter Beard, the wildlife photographer who became a frequent subject himself thanks to his own wild personal life and former marriage to supermodel Cheryl Tiegs, was found dead in Camp Hero State Park in Montauk, New York, Sunday.
His family said in a statement to The New York Times, "We are all heartbroken by the confirmation of our beloved Peter's death. He died where he lived: in nature."
Authorities had been searching for Beard, 82 — suffering from dementia — since March 31, when he wandered away from his home on Long Island.
Born the heir to a rail fortune in New York City on January 22, 1938, Beard was from an early age a diarist and photography buff.
After traveling to Africa in the '50s and '60s, he took off on a third trip, to Kenya, to shoot tens of thousands of images of elephants and other animals, which were published in his seminal work, "The End of the Game," in 1965.
From that point on, Beard's unique marriage of photography and journalling has been displayed in galleries and museums and sold in books, but it was his colorful personal life that propelled him from artist to boldface name.
A regular at Studio 54 in the '70s and described in his Times obit as an "amorous, bibulous, pharmaceutically inclined man about town," Beard was seen as a bit of a swashbuckler and more than a bit of a womanizer, with storied affairs with such women as Candice Bergen and Lee Radziwill under his belt.
He was married three times, including to Tiegs, and is survived by his wife Nejma and their daughter Zara.