Character actor Daniel von Bargen, who survived a suicide attempt in 2012, has died after a lengthy illness. He was 64.
A Cincinnati native, von Bargen died March 1, according to WLWT-5, Cincinnati’s NBC affiliate.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. He Was Best Known as Mr. Kruger on ‘Seinfeld’
Von Bargen played George Costanza’s boss, Mr. Kruger, during the final season of Seinfeld. He was also known for his role as Commandant Edwin Spangler on Malcolm in the Middle.
He was born in Cincinnati and graduated from Purdue University with a major in drama, according to his IMDB.com biography.
2. He Was Suffering From Diabetes
Von Bargen had long been battling diabetes, according to WLWT. His friend, fellow actor Bob Colonna, mourned von Bargen’s death on an entertainment blog, saying the last years of his life were hard:
I feel a huge wave of sorrow and relief at the passing of this remarkable man, Dan Von Bargen. I treasure the years when I worked with him at Trinity Rep and in a couple of TV films. I admire his excellent body of work in the movies. And I mourn for the darkness and pain that were his final years. God bless him. He was a hell of a guy.
3. He Shot Himself in the Head to Avoid Amputation Surgery
In 2012, von Bargen shot himself in the head in an attempt to commit suicide, and survived. According to TMZ, he told dispatchers he shot himself because he was set to have surgery to amputate toes as a result of diabetic complications.
4. He Excelled at Playing Authority Figures
Like in his roles on Seinfeld and Malcolm in the Middle, von Bargen was frequently cast as an authority figure. He has made guest appearances as a cop on Law & Order, Without a Trace and NYPD Blue, was an Air Force general on The West Wing and a judge on Ally McBeal and Judging Amy.
On the big screen, von Bargen stood out as Sheriff Briscoe in The Postman, alongside Kevin Costner. He also had roles in The Faculty, Basic Instinct, Crimson Tide and Super Troopers.
He was interviewed in 2003 on a local television station about a film that was being shot in Cincinnati:
5. He Was Also a Stage Actor
Von Bargen had a distinguished career in theater, appearing including a residency with the Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, Rhode Island.
He appeared in Broadway in the early 1990s in Mastergate .
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