In 1963 he appeared, nude, in Adolfas Mekas’s avant-garde film “Hallelujah the Hills!,” a critical and popular hit at the inaugural New York Film Festival. He later recalled that “Andy Warhol called it the first streak.”
He seemed to possess the indefatigability of a half-dozen men, and well into old age routinely reveled until dawn, his escapades becoming grist for gossip columnists worldwide.
“Peter Beard — gentleman, socialite, artist, photographer, Lothario, prophet, playboy and fan of recreational drugs — is the last of the adventurers,” The Observer said.
“James Dean grown up,” another British paper, The Evening Standard, called him.
“The hard-partying septuagenarian shutterbug,” The Daily News of New York wrote.
There was the time, for example, as Vanity Fair reported in 1996, that Mr. Beard, after roistering until 5 a.m. at a Nairobi nightclub, emerged the next afternoon from a tent on his ranch in the Kenyan countryside followed by the “four or five” young Ethiopian women he had brought home with him.
“We were very cozy,” he noted.
There was the time in 2013, The New York Post reported, that Mr. Beard, then 75, returned home about 6 a.m. to the Midtown Manhattan apartment he shared with his wife, Nejma Beard, who was also his agent, after a night’s revels.