Daniel von Bargen

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Daniel von Bargen
Born(1950-06-05)June 5, 1950
DiedMarch 1, 2015(2015-03-01) (aged 64)
Years active1970–2009

Daniel von Bargen (June 5, 1950 – March 1, 2015) was an American film, stage and television actor. He was known for his roles as Mr. Kruger on Seinfeld, Commandant Edwin Spangler on Malcolm in the Middle, and Chief Grady in Super Troopers.[1]

Early life[edit]

Von Bargen was born to Juanita J. (née Bustle) and Donald L. von Bargen,[2] and was of German and English descent. He grew up in Cincinnati for most of his childhood before moving with his family to Southern California. In 1968, von Bargen graduated from Reading High School.[3] He graduated from Purdue University in Indiana.[4]


In 1974, von Bargen made his television debut in Great Performances.[5]

Von Bargen's film credits included London Betty, RoboCop 3, Basic Instinct, Broken Arrow, Truman, The Majestic, Philadelphia, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Snow Falling on Cedars,[5] Thinner, A Civil Action, Disney's The Kid, Super Troopers and Universal Soldier: The Return.

Von Bargen played the maniacal sorcerer Nix in Clive Barker's Lord of Illusions and the Sheriff in The Postman. He played a terrorist in a season 5 episode of The X-Files.[6]

Von Bargen's stage career included a long residency with Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, Rhode Island; he made his Off-Broadway debut in 1981 in Missing Persons.[4] He also appeared in the debut of Larry Gelbart's Mastergate and other plays at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He made his Broadway debut when the show went to New York City. In 1990, he won a Theatre World Award for Outstanding New Performer for his role in Mastergate.[7] His last films roles were as Maury in London Betty and as George Burgess in Things That Hang from Trees.[8]

In 1993, von Bargen narrated the unabridged Streets of Laredo audiobook.[9]

Health issues and death[edit]

On February 20, 2012, von Bargen shot himself in the temple during an apparent suicide attempt. After placing a phone call to a 911 operator, emergency crews were dispatched to his Montgomery, Ohio, apartment. Von Bargen suffered from diabetes and, at the time of his death, had been living with one leg amputated. He was due to have a couple of toes amputated on his remaining foot and reportedly did not want to submit to another surgery.[10]

Von Bargen died on March 1, 2015, of undisclosed causes, having experienced complications from diabetes for years.[11] He was 64 years old.[12][13]



Year Title Role Notes
1974 Great Performances[5] Wooldridge Episode: "Feasting with Panthers"
1976 Visions Guard Episode: "Life Among the Lowly"
1979 The Scarlet Letter A Sailor Unknown episodes
1983 The Dean of Thin Air George Berkeley TV movie
1985 Right to Kill? Det. Roberts TV movie
1985 American Playhouse Thomas Episode: "Three Sovereigns for Sarah: Part I"
1985–86 Spenser: For Hire Al / Mr. Hurley 2 episodes
1990 H.E.L.P. Whitehall Episode: "Are You There, Alpha Centauri?"
1991, 1997, 2004 Law & Order Supt. Cooper / Commander Billings / Lambrusco 3 episodes
1992 Citizen Cohn Clyde Tolson TV movie
1993 The Last Hit Nordlinger
1993 With Hostile Intent Officer Ted Campbell TV movie
1993 Scam Albert Magliocco TV movie
1993 Guiding Light Joe Morrison Unknown episodes
1994 One West Waikiki Capt. Charlie Dalton Episode: "'Til Death Do Us Part"
1994 The Gift of Love Mr Brady TV movie
1994–95 All My Children Lt. Cody Unknown episodes
1995 The Shamrock Conspiracy Sternhardt TV movie
1995 Truman General Douglas MacArthur TV movie
1995, 1997 New York Undercover Green / Omega Bomber / Duane 2 episodes
1996 The Writing on the Wall Rockwell TV movie
1996 NYPD Blue Sgt. Ray Kahlins 2 episodes
1997–98 Seinfeld Mr. Kruger 4 episodes
1998 The Pretender Captain Prentiss McClaren Episode: "Collateral Damage"
1998 Significant Others David Lerner Episode: "The Plan"
1998 The X-Files Jacob Steven Haley Episode: "The Pine Bluff Variant"
1998 Arliss Episode: "Whatever It Takes"
1998 Party of Five Dr. Dick Grayson Episode: "Love and War"
1999 Fantasy Island District Attorney Flynn Episode: "Innocent"
1999 The Practice Det. Smiley Episode: "Happily Ever After"
2000 City of Angels Stewart Rafferty Episode: "Unhand Me"
2000 Time of Your Life Mr. Halloway Episode: "The Time They Got E-Rotic"
2000 The Fearing Mind P.F. O'Horgan Episode: "Good Harvest"
2000 The West Wing Air Force General Ken Shannon 2 episodes
2000–02 Malcolm in the Middle Commandant Edwin Spangler 15 episodes (Seasons 1–3)
2001 Ally McBeal Judge William Kopesky Episode: "The Ex-Files"
2001 Judging Amy Judge Episode: "Grounded"
2003 Without a Trace Chief Patrick Finn Episode: "Trip Box"


Year Title Role Notes
1991 The Silence of the Lambs SWAT communicator
1991 Company Business Mike Flinn
1991 Shadows and Fog Vigilante
1991 The Good Policeman
1992 Complex World Malcom
1992 Basic Instinct Lieutenant Nilsen
1993 RoboCop 3 Moreno
1993 Rising Sun Chief Olson / Interrogator
1993 The Saint of Fort Washington Boat Captain
1993 Six Degrees of Separation Detective
1993 Philadelphia Jury Foreman
1994 I.Q. Secret Service Agent
1995 Crimson Tide Vladimir Radchenko
1995 Lord of Illusions Nix
1996 Looking for Richard Ratcliffe Documentary
1996 Broken Arrow Air Force General Creely
1996 Before and After Fran Conklin
1996 Thinner Chief Duncan Hopley
1997 G.I. Jane Theodore Hayes
1997 The Real Blonde Devon
1997 Trouble on the Corner Cecil, the butcher
1997 Amistad Warden Pendleton
1997 The Postman Pineview Sheriff Briscoe
1998 Desert Blue Sheriff Jackson
1998 I'm Losing You Dr. Litvak
1998 Inferno Gen. Craig Maxwell
1998 The Faculty Mr. Tate
1998 A Civil Action Mr. Granger
1999 The General's Daughter Police Chief Yardley
1999 Universal Soldier: The Return General Radford
1999 Snow Falling on Cedars Carl Heine, Sr.
2000 A Question of Faith Adrian
2000 O Brother, Where Art Thou? Sheriff Cooley
2000 Shaft Lieutenant Kearney
2000 Disney's The Kid Sam Duritz
2001 Super Troopers Chief Grady
2001 Trigger Happy Harold
2001 The Majestic Federal Agent Ellerby
2002 Coastlines Sheriff Tate
2002 S1m0ne Chief Detective
2003 Artworks Howard Deardorf
2004 Dead Horse Stu Conklin
2005 Drip Daniel
2006 Things That Hang from Trees George Burgess
2009 London Betty Maury (final film role)


Year Title Role Venue
1981 Missing Persons Tucker[14]
1987 Uncle Vanya Vanya[15] Hasty Pudding Theater
1988 Platonov Pavel Petrovich Scherbuk[15]
1988 Life is a Dream King Basilio[15]
1988 Nobody Carl[15]
1989 Mastergate Maj. Manley Battle American Repertory Theater[16]
1990 Macbeth Ross[17] Joseph Papp Public Theater
1991 Beggars in the House of Plenty Pop[18]
1992 Angel of Death Gunther Ludwig American Jewish Theater[19]
1993 The Treatment Andrew Joseph Papp Public Theater[20]
2003 Secret Order Robert Brock Laguna Playhouse[21]
'Tis Pity She's a Whore[15]
The Changeling[15]


  1. ^ "Daniel von Bargen". Yahoo! Movies. Yahoo!. Retrieved March 21, 2014.
  2. ^ "Juanita J. VON BARGEN (1924 - 2011)". The Cincinnati Enquirer. August 9, 2011. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
  3. ^ "Reading Alumnus Has 'Panthers' TV Role". The Cincinnati Enquirer. March 7, 1974. p. 49. Retrieved March 2, 2018 – via Newspapers.com. Free to read
  4. ^ a b Willis, John A. (1996). Theatre World. 50. Crown Publishers. p. 234. Retrieved March 21, 2014.
  5. ^ a b c Dagan, Carmel (March 4, 2015). "'Seinfeld' Actor Daniel von Bargen Dies at 64". Variety. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  6. ^ Barnes, Mike (March 4, 2015). "'Seinfeld' Actor Daniel von Bargen Dies at 64". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  7. ^ "Theatre World Award". Playbill.com. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
  8. ^ R.I.P. Daniel von Bargen Dies At Age 64, bloody-disgusting.com; accessed March 8, 2015.
  9. ^ Bauers, Sandy (October 31, 1993). "Larry McMurtry Rides Tall with 'Streets of Laredo'". Philly.com. Philadelphia Media Network. Retrieved March 24, 2015.
  10. ^ Smith, Candace (February 22, 2012). "Seinfeld Star Daniel von Bargen Hospitalized After Failed Suicide Attempt". ABC News. Retrieved March 21, 2014.
  11. ^ Slotnik, David E. (March 6, 2015). "Daniel Von Bargen, 64, Dies; Actor in 'Seinfeld' and 'Malcolm in the Middle'". The New York Times. Retrieved March 7, 2015.
  12. ^ "Cincinnati native, 'Seinfeld', 'Malcolm' actor passes away". WLWT. March 3, 2015. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
  13. ^ A Trip Down Memory Lane: RIP Daniel von Bargen, greatentertainersarchives.blogspot.ca; accessed March 5, 2015.
  14. ^ Rich, Frank (May 21, 1981). "Craig Lucas's 'Missing Persons'". The New York Times. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
  15. ^ a b c d e f Plotkins, Marilyn (January 1, 2005). The American Repertory Theatre Reference Book: The Brustein Years. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 9, 75–80, 82–85, 183. ISBN 978-0-313-28913-2. Retrieved March 21, 2014.
  16. ^ Rich, Frank (February 14, 1989). "Gelbart's Scorn for Scandals". The New York Times. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
  17. ^ Simon, John (January 29, 1990). "Macbeth: The Comedy". New York. New York Media, LLC. 23 (4): 68. ISSN 0028-7369. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
  18. ^ Rich, Frank (October 24, 1991). "Author and Actor Converge to Resolve Old Family Horror". The New York Times. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
  19. ^ Gussow, Mel (May 18, 1992). "Josef Mengele Recast As a Nightclub Star". The New York Times. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
  20. ^ Brantley, Ben (November 3, 1993). "The Treatment; A City So Relentlessly Abusive Its Residents Decide Not to See". The New York Times. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
  21. ^ Shirley, Don (June 3, 2003). "Bonding, splitting, fighting for life". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 5, 2015.

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