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Major Dexter Smythe had a brilliant career in the military and was hired by MI6 after World War II. He was sent on a mission to track down a cache of Chinese gold in North Korea with a local guide. Smythe never returned and the gold and guide were never seen again. Smythe became a jewel smuggler all around Asia and lived a life of luxury. He then devoted himself to the study of octopi. He named his daughter after his favourite pet, Octopussy, whom he taught the arts of jewel smuggling.
Decades later, the body of Smythe's native guide was found, with a bullet inside the skull matching his service revolver. James Bond was sent to search for Smythe, finding him in Sri Lanka. Bond gave Smythe 24 hours to tidy up his affairs before returning for him. Smythe commited suicide rather than face the shame of court-martial.
Behind the Scenes
Smythe was never directly seen on screen. He is only mentioned by name and a photograph of him revealed.