Iowa Alumni Magazine | April 2009 | People

Fruitful Actor

By IAM Staff
Gene Steichen went to Hollywood to be a movie star. Instead, he turned over a new leaf.

For the past eight years, Steichen, 84BA, has starred as a leaf alongside an apple and two grape bunches in the Fruit of the Loom ads. He dresses up in green foliage and plays the drums in dozens of the company’s commercials, including one last year with country singer Vince Gill. The ads—which originally starred Oscar winner F. Murray Abraham in Steichen’s role—are featured on

Though Steichen has appeared on Matlock, Married with Children, and in scores of commercials, Fruit of the Loom music videos and promotional appearances take up most of his time. The Dubuque native always makes time for Iowa, however, scheduling his gigs around Hawkeye football games.