February 23, 2012 / 3:45 AM / 5 years ago

Actor who had role on "Seinfeld" shoots self

CINCINNATI (Reuters) - Character actor Daniel von Bargen, who has appeared in dozens of movies and television shows including "Seinfeld" and "Malcolm in the Middle," was hospitalized after shooting himself in the head at his Cincinnati-area condominium, authorities said Wednesday.

Von Bargen, 61, told a Cincinnati-area emergency dispatcher on Monday that he had shot himself in the temple with a .38-caliber pistol at his home and could not open his left eye.

"I shot myself in the head and I need help," von Bargen told the emergency dispatcher in a call from his home in Montgomery, Ohio, northeast of Cincinnati.

The Cincinnati-born actor told the dispatcher he was diabetic and had a scheduled hospital appointment later on Monday where at least a few toes could be amputated. He said he was lying on a bed with his head propped on a pillow.

"I was supposed to go to the hospital today and I didn't want to," von Bargen said.

The actor played Mr. Kruger in several episodes of the TV series "Seinfeld" and he appeared in "Malcolm in the Middle" more than a dozen times as commandant Spangler, according to IMDb.com.

Police officers responding to the emergency call could be heard telling von Bargen to keep his hands visible and asking him if there was another handgun in the apartment. Police described him later as very cooperative.

Von Bargen was taken to Bethesda North Hospital, part of TriHealth, where he was stabilized and transported by helicopter to University Hospital, TriHealth spokesman Joe Kelley said.

Von Bargen's condition on Wednesday night was not immediately clear. A University Hospital spokeswoman said they had no patient by that name.

Attempts to reach a representative of the actor or his relatives were unsuccessful on Wednesday.

Reporting by Joe Wessels; Editing by Paul Thomasch and Eric Beech

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