Comedian and gardening expert Cassandra Danz, (a.k.a. “Mrs. Greenthumbs”) dispensed growing tips as a regular visitor on ABC’s morning talk show LIVE WITH REGIS & KATHIE LEE (and later on REGIS & KELLY) in the 1990s.
Her other appearances included the “The Rosie O’Donnell Show,” “CBS This Morning,” “CNN Morning News,” “Celebrity Gardens” on the Home and Garden Network, and “Our Home on Lifetime.” For two years, she did regular garden segments on “Breakfast Times” with Laurie Hibberd, as well as “Garden Variety” on the FX cable network.
Born January 1, 1947 in Brooklyn, New York, Danz began her career as a stand up-comic and starred in her own 1994 one-woman show “Mrs Greenthumbs Plows Ahead.”
She introduced her Mrs. Greenthumbs character in 1989 during a tour with a cabaret troupe called “The High-Heeled Women.”
Danz penned a magazine column for Country Living Garden and wrote the books “Mrs. Greenthumbs Plows Ahead: Five Steps to the Drop-Dead Gorgeous Grad of Your Dreams” and “Mrs. Greenthumbs: How I Turned a Boring Yard into a Glorious Garden and How You Can, Too.”
“My husband chopped the bamboo down using a machete he bought from ‘Soldier of Fortune’ magazine. I remember the sweat glistening on his torso. I felt like Ava Gardner in ‘Mogambo’. In a tropical frame of mind, I put on my muumuu and quickly mixed some Mai Tai cocktails. We sat on the porch, looking at the bamboo stumps, waiting for the elephants to stampede. Gardening is more fun than you think. After drinks and intercourse, we decided to do it the natural way (used the lawnmower).” – Book excerpt
“I plant daffodil bulbs about eight inches deep. As I mentioned before, I don’t use a ruler. As a married woman, I know perfectly well what six or eight inches looks like, so it’s easy to make a good estimate. This mental measurement makes planting time much more interesting than it might be otherwise.” – Book excerpt
Ms. Danz began her comedy career in the off-Broadway musical revue ”El Grande de Coca-Cola” in New York and performed with the likes of Bill Murray as a Second City comedy troupe cast member in Chicago. She was a founding member of the High-Heeled Women comedy group and appeared in the movies Law and Disorder (1974), Angels (1976), Tootsie (1982), Beer (1985), and 9½ Weeks (1986).
In Great Britain, Cassandra Danz appeared on “This Morning with Richard and Judy” for Granada Television, and completed a ten-week tour of famous British gardens.
In 1997, she received the Golden Leaf Award from the Planting Fields Arboretum for her contribution to the advancement of horticulture.
Cassandra Danz died of breast cancer on May 26, 2002 in Brooklyn, New York. She was 55. Danz’s remains were cremated. Her ashes were scattered at her home garden in Hudson, New York.