'Seinfeld' Star Survives Desperate Suicide Attempt & Calls 911 Himself

Daniel von Bargen's film credits include Super Troopers, Basic Instinct, and O Brother, Where Art Thou, but you probably remember him best as Seinfeld's Mr. Kruger, president of Kruger Industrial Smoothing. While he was a hilarious character on the show, it seems his real life has become increasingly troubled in recent years—because he's currently in critical condition after a shocking suicide attempt.

TMZ has audio of the 911 call von Bargen made from his Ohio home Monday morning, and it sounds almost too bizarre to be real. In the tape, he tells the dispatcher that he can't open his eyes ... because he's shot himself in the temple with a .38 Colt.


Von Bargen managed to survive the self-inflicted shooting and then placed a call to 911. Amazingly, he was coherent enough to explain what had happened—and the tragic reason he'd resorted to such extreme measures.

In the call, he tells a dispatcher, "I was supposed to go to the hospital and I didn't want to. They were supposed to amputate at least a few toes" (due to diabetic complications). He says he has already had one leg amputated and was "just tired," and when asked where the gunshot wound is, he says, "I shot in my temple."

Von Bargen was able to stay on the line with the operator for several minutes, saying that he couldn't see and wasn't sure how much he'd been bleeding, and the calls ends with police entering his apartment and telling him not to move his hands (presumably for fear he would turn the weapon on them).

You can listen to the entire heartbreaking call at TMZ's website, although I chose not to include it here because ... well, it's just really depressing, and unfortunately it contains private information like phone numbers and addresses.

I can't imagine what this poor man has been going through. Or rather, I sort of can, because my uncle had diabetic complications that took his leg, and eventually his life—but not before he lived several difficult years in a nursing home. It was a tragic situation, and I feel awful for anyone who's battling a similar chronic disease.

Daniel von Bargen was taken to a nearby hospital where he's currently in critical condition. Here's hoping he's able to recover and find new things in life to cherish.

In happier times, a few of the best moments of von Bargen as Mr. Kruger:

Image via YouTube

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