Daniel von Bargen, 64, the actor best known for a handful of "Seinfeld" episodes in which he played George Costanza’s deeply unenthusiastic boss Mr. Kruger, died Sunday. According to his friend and fellow actor Bob Colonna, von Bargen had been battling a long-term illness.
Von Bargen, a Cincinnati native, was seriously injured in 2012 after attempting to commit suicide at his Montgomery, Ohio, apartment. The actor shot himself in the head after falling into a deep depression caused by his battle with diabetes. A Cincinnati news station claimed the actor was able to call 911 and told the operator he didn’t want to have his toes removed due to complications from the disease.
“I feel a huge wave of sorrow and relief at the passing of this remarkable man, Dan von Bargen," Colonna said in a statement about his longtime friend. "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 movies. And I mourn for the darkness and pain that were his final years. God bless him. He was a hell of a guy.”
Von Bargen made frequent appearances as Commandant Edwin Spangler on the sitcom “Malcolm in the Middle,” and was seen in many other series throughout the 1990s and 2000s, including "NYPD Blue," "The X-Files," "The West Wing" and "Judging Amy." Among his 45 films are “The Silence of the Lambs,” “Basic Instinct,” “Crimson Tide,” “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” "Philadelphia" and "Amistad."
Von Bargen got his start in acting with a long residency at Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, Rhode Island, and went on to perform opposite Christopher Walken in David Mamet's adaptation of "Uncle Vanya" at the Hasty Pudding Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He also acted at the Joseph Papp Public Theater, among other New York stages.
He was not married and there was no word on survivors.