The 61 year old, who played Mr. Kruger on hit TV sitcom Seinfeld, attempted suicide on Monday (20Feb12), but had a change of heart about ending his life when he survived the gunshot wound.
In a 911 call, obtained by TMZ.com, the diabetic actor explained he was set to have his toes amputated as a result of his health condition and he put a gun to his temple because he didn't want to go through with the operation.
He told the operator, "I've shot myself in the head... and I need help. I was supposed to go to the hospital and I didn't want to. They (doctors) were supposed to amputate at least a few toes."
Paramedics responded to Von Bargen's cry for help and transported him from his Cincinnati apartment to a nearby hospital.
The actor has also appeared in films such as Basic Instinct, Super Troopers, Broken Arrow and Philadelphia.