Actor Daniel Von Bargen — who played George Costanza’s incompetent boss “Mr. Kruger” on “Seinfeld” — has been critically injured in a suicide attempt.
The 61-year-old actor reportedly shot himself in the head because he couldn’t face surgery he was scheduled to undergo stemming from an ongoing battle with diabetes.
TMZ.com has the story here, including a recording of Von Bargen’s own 911 phone call, which he was apparently still able to make despite his wound. The sad incident took place Monday at his home in an apartment complex in Cincinnati.
The news about Von Bargen’s suicide attempt is especially saddening for long-time fans of “Seinfeld,” in which the actor appeared four times as Mr. Kruger, the man in charge of Kruger Industrial Smoothing. It was a ridiculous, fictional company that provided smoothing services for a variety of surfaces (including, according to a story told by Mr. Kruger, the Statue of Liberty — a job the company botched).
Von Bargen appeared on the show in just four episodes, all in the ninth and final season, but like other supporting characters throughout the sitcom’s storied history, he made an indelible mark. The character was so incompetent that steep losses in revenue did not faze him. In fact, by comparison, inept George (Jason Alexander) was the more competent of the two. Among other memorable scenarios: Mr. Kruger nicknamed George “Koko” and also attended the now-legendary Festivus celebration staged by George’s father (Jerry Stiller).
The actor had also appeared in dozens of other TV shows and movies over a long career (which you can read about here on IMDB.com).
Von Bargen was listed in critical condition in a Cincinnati hospital on Wednesday, TMZ said.