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By United Press International  |  Feb. 23, 2012 at 3:49 AM
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DANIEL VON BARGEN: Actor Daniel von Bargen was hospitalized in critical condition after shooting himself in the head at his home in Cincinnati, TMZ reported.

Von Bargen, 61, played recurring roles on the TV sitcoms "Malcolm in the Middle" and "Seinfeld," and appeared in the films "Clive Barker's Lord of Illusions," "RoboCop 3," "Basic Instinct," "Broken Arrow," "Philadelphia," "The Silence of the Lambs," "The Postman," "A Civil Action," "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" and "Super Troopers."

TMZ said von Bargen shot himself in the temple Monday, then called 911.

"I've shot myself in the head ... and I need help," the celebrity news Web site quoted von Bargen as telling the 911 operator.

Asked if it was an accident, TMZ said the actor replied: "I was supposed to go to the hospital and I didn't want to. ... They were supposed to amputate at least a few toes."

There was no word on the state of von Bargen's health before the apparent suicide attempt.

WHITNEY HOUSTON: Whitney Houston died of a lethal combination of Valium, Xanax and alcohol, sources close to the Los Angeles investigation told

"Whitney had taken Valium, Xanax, and alcohol, which led to her death. The coroner is waiting on final toxicology results to determine which one of the three was the major contributing factor of her demise," one insider told the celebrity news Web site. "The coroner will be closely examining Whitney's blood-alcohol content at the time she died as well. The sedatives and alcohol will almost certainly be the cause of death, and not drowning. Her heart stopped beating because her respiratory system was suppressed because of the anti-anxiety meds, and combined with the booze it probably happened very quickly before she was found partially submerged in the bathtub."

The 48-year-old Grammy Award-winning recording star, who had long battled addictions to drugs and alcohol, died Feb. 11 in her bathtub at the Beverly Hilton hotel. She was buried Sunday in her native New Jersey.

LEONARDO DiCAPRIO: Hollywood's Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences says actor Leonardo DiCaprio helped it buy the ruby slippers worn in "The Wizard of Oz."

Joe Maddalena, owner of Profiles in History in Los Angeles, said Wednesday he arranged the sale of the iconic props. He did not mention how much the academy paid for them.

"They are the Holy Grail of all Hollywood memorabilia," Rhys Thomas, expert and author of "The Ruby Slippers of Oz," said in a statement.

"Far more than just a pair of red-sequined shoes, they are an indelible icon of a uniquely American fairy tale," Thomas said. "And of the four pairs of authentic ruby slippers known to exist, this pair offered by Profiles in History, marked 'No. 7 Judy Garland' and known as the 'Witch's Shoes,' are the most important and most valuable. Without question, they are the 'close-up' shoes, worn by Garland when she clicks her heels three times. They are the 'Take me home to Kansas,' shoes, transcending Hollywood, representing an enduring symbol of the power of belief."

Three other pairs of screen-used ruby slippers are known to have survived the 70-plus years since the movie was made. One set is in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, one is owned by a private collector and one was stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minn.

The academy said DiCaprio led a group of "angel donors," including director Steven Spielberg, whose gifts to the Academy Foundation enabled the purchase.

"Leo's passionate leadership has helped us bring home this legendary piece of movie history," Academy Chief Executive Officer Dawn Hudson said. "It's a wonderful gift to the academy museum project, and a perfect representation of the work we do year-round to preserve and share our film heritage."

SACHA BARON COHEN: Sacha Baron Cohen is not allowed to attend the Oscars in Los Angeles dressed as a character from his film "The Dictator," organizers said.

The British comedian and actor, known for his outrageous publicity stunts, is a cast member of Best Picture Oscar contender "Hugo," Martin Scorsese's first family flick.

The Hollywood Reporter said this week Cohen plans to attend the film industry's biggest night, dressed and acting like the bearded, Middle Eastern totalitarian ruler he plays in his upcoming comedy "The Dictator."

The academy subsequently reached out to Cohen's representatives and Paramount, the studio behind both "Hugo" and "Dictator," asking if Cohen really intends to walk the Oscar red carpet in character.

"We don't think it's appropriate," an academy spokesman told The Hollywood Reporter.

"But his tickets haven't been pulled. We're waiting to hear back," the spokesman said. "We haven't banned him."

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