Born: Tove Træsnæs
Date of Birth: November 17, 1941
Place of Birth: Oslo, Norway
Spouse(s): Louis Littleton
(m. 1965; div. 1972)
(m. 1973; died 2012)
Organization founded: Beauty by Tova
Official Website: beautybytova.com
Tova Traesnaes Borgnine (born Tove Træsnæs, November 17, 1941 is a Norwegian-American businesswoman. She is the founder of Beauty By Tova cosmetics and widow of actor Ernest Borgnine.
Traesnaes was born in Oslo, Norway. Her father was a graphic artist and her mother was a translator at the US Embassy. Following her parents' separation, she moved to the USA in 1953 with her mother.
She studied acting in Manhattan, but she developed a fondness for applying makeup rather than wearing it. After marrying a New Jersey businessman, she opened her own makeup center. When the marriage failed, she moved to Las Vegas to be near her mother. In Las Vegas, she learned of a cactus-based face cream made from a formula by a Mexican family and began selling it. Word was soon out that Hollywood stars were clamoring for the "facelift in a jar," and orders flooded in. In 1975, she traveled to Mexico and secured world distribution rights. Her husband and some friends worked day and night filling jars and shipping them.
Her cosmetics have been featured on QVC shopping network since 1990. According to QVC as of 2001, her perfumes had been featured on the network for over ten years with sales continuing to grow, making her "a steady presence at QVC and its biggest fragrance vendor". She also has a jewelry line with QVC.
She has been married twice. Her first husband was Louis A. Littleton of Point Pleasant, New Jersey. This marriage ended after seven years in divorce. She has one son. She married Hollywood actor Ernest Borgnine on February 24, 1973. She was his fifth wife. Their marriage lasted until his death at age 95 in 2012. She divides her time between Beverly Hills, California, and West Chester, Pennsylvania.
Tova Borgnine was awarded the FiFi Award for the Women's Fragrance Star of the Year (Non-Store Venues) in 1998. On April 25, 2008, she was nominated for the 2008 FiFi awards.
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