The influence of multiplicative external fluctuations (noise) on the phenomenological equation describing the Freedericksz transition has been studied by means of an electronic analogue simulator. Measurements were made of the stationary probability density for a wide range of fluctuation intensities and correlation times, for both dichotomous and Gaussianly distributed noise. For dichotomous forcing, the resultant phase diagrams at particular values of the field intensity parameter were found to be in satisfactory agreement with exact theoretical predictions by Horsthemke et al. In the (physically more realistic) case of Gaussian fluctuations, for which no theory is currently available, the results obtained were distinctively different. A physically motivated discussion is given to account for the interesting differences and similarities of behavior found for the two types of external noise.