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He is based on the character Peter Franks who is mentioned in the 1956 novel Diamonds Are Forever. James Bond then proceeds to use the man's identity as an alias to infiltrate the Spangled Mob's diamond smuggling pipeline.
When M assigns Bond to go undercover the diamond smuggling ring, Bond disguises himself under the professional smuggler and murderer, Peter Franks, Bond travels to Amsterdam to meet Franks' contact, Tiffany Case. The real Franks shows up on the way in the elevator leading to a brutal battle between the two, but Bond intercepts and kills him. Bond switches IDs to make it seem like Franks is Bond. Case and Bond then travel to Los Angeles, smuggling the diamonds inside Franks' corpse.
At the airport Bond meets his CIA ally Felix Leiter, and goes to a funeral home, where Franks' body is cremated and the diamonds passed onto the next smuggler, Shady Tree. Bond is nearly killed by Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd when they put him in a cremation oven, but Tree stops the process when he discovers that the diamonds in Franks' body were fakes, planted by Bond and the CIA.
Behind the scenes
During the tournage of the fight in the elevator, Joe Robinson accidentally pulled off Sean Connery's hairpiece during one take.