Tova Traesnaes

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Tova Traesnaes
Born Tove Træsnæs
(1941-11-17) November 17, 1941 (age 72)
Oslo, Norway
Occupation Businesswoman

Tova Traesnaes Borgnine (born Tove Træsnæs,[1] November 17, 1941[2]) is a Norwegian-American businesswoman. She is the founder of Beauty By Tova cosmetics and widow of actor Ernest Borgnine.

Early life[edit]

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 US 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.[2]

In Las Vegas, she learned of a cactus-based face cream made from a formula by a Mexican family and began selling it.[2] 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.[2]

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".[3]

Personal life[edit]

She has apparently been married twice. The first marriage ended after four years by divorce. She has one son.[4]

She married Hollywood actor Ernest Borgnine on February 24, 1973.[5] She was his fifth wife. Their marriage lasted until his death at age 95 in 2012 from Renal failure.

She divides her time between Beverly Hills, California, and West Chester, Pennsylvania,[4] home of QVC.


Tova Borgnine was awarded the FiFi Award for the Women's Fragrance Star of the Year (Non-Store Venues) in 1998.[6] On April 25, 2008, she was nominated for the 2008 FiFi awards.[7]


  1. ^ "Ernest Borgnine er død", NRK, 8 July 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d Adelson, Suzanne (17 August 1981), "With His Fifth Marriage, Ernest Borgnine Finally Has a Face-Saver: Wife Tove", People 16 (7) )
  3. ^ Klepacki, Laura (December 14, 2001). "Direct Sellers Make Fragrance Personal". Women's Wear Daily. Retrieved 2008-05-12. [dead link]
  4. ^ a b Stritof, Sheri & Bob. Timeline and Marriages of Ernest Borgnine,
  5. ^ "Ernest Borgnine Biography". University of North Alabama Library. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Past FiFi award winners". The Fragrance Foundation. [dead link][dead link]
  7. ^ "FiFi Finalists announced". The Fragrance Foundation. April 25, 2008. [dead link]

External links[edit]