Dena Dietrich

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Dena Dietrich
Dena Dietrich

(1928-12-04) December 4, 1928 (age 90)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Years active1973-2007

Dena Dietrich (born December 4, 1928) is an American actress.

Dietrich was born in Pittsburgh.

On television, Dietrich portrayed Grace Peterson in Adam's Rib,[1] Dena Madison in Karen,[1]:555 Estelle Milner in Paul Sand in Friends and Lovers,[1]:818 Molly Gibbons in The Practice[1]:850 Ethel Armbrewster in The Ropers,[1]:910 and Pearl Newman in 13 East.[1]:1072

Her other television credits include recurring roles on Life with Lucy, Santa Barbara, All My Children and Philly. She made guest appearances on Emergency!, Life Goes On, NYPD Blue, Murphy Brown, and The Golden Girls (as Dorothy's sister Gloria).

Dietrich appeared in such films as The Wild Party (1975), Disney's The North Avenue Irregulars (1979) and the Mel Brooks film History of the World, Part I (1981).[citation needed] She appeared on Broadway in The Rimers of Eldritch, Here's Where I Belong, and The Prisoner of Second Avenue.[2] Outside of film and television, Dietrich provided the voice of the grandmother narrator on the dark ride attraction Horizons at Epcot in Walt Disney World from 1983 until 1999. She studied acting at HB Studio.[3]

Dietrich is perhaps best known for her portrayal of Mother Nature in Chiffon margarine's 30-second commercials in the 1970s (1971–79).[4] Dressed in a gown of white and adorned with a crown of daisies, Mother Nature is seen sampling what she believes is butter, straight from nature. An unseen narrator (Mason Adams) informs her "That's Chiffon Margarine, not butter." A perplexed Mother Nature replies that it would be impossible for it to be margarine because it tastes too much like real butter; the narrator responds in delight that the margarine is indeed so close to real butter that it could fool even Mother Nature. Dietrich angrily responds "It's not nice to fool Mother Nature!" and commands nature to attack, such as through thunder and lightning or commanding an elephant to charge the camera. "It's not nice to fool Mother Nature!" eventually became Dietrich's trademark catchphrase. The melodic tagline for the ad reads: "If you think it's butter, but it's's Chiffon."


  1. ^ a b c d e f Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7.
  2. ^ "Internet Broadway Database". Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  3. ^ "HB Studio Alumni". HB Studio. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  4. ^ "Chiffon Margarine Commercial, "Mother Nature"". YouTube. Retrieved 17 February 2019.

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