Tova Traesnaes

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Tova Traesnaes Borgnine
Tove Træsnæs

(1941-11-17) November 17, 1941 (age 77)
Oslo, Norway
Louis Littleton
(m. 1965; div. 1972)

Ernest Borgnine
(m. 1973; died 2012)

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 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.[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".[citation needed]She also has a jewelry line with QVC [3]

Personal life[edit]

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


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.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Ernest Borgnine er død"[permanent dead link], NRK, July 8, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d Adelson, Suzanne (August 17, 1981), "With His Fifth Marriage, Ernest Borgnine Finally Has a Face-Saver: Wife Tove", People, 16 (7))
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b Stritof, Sheri & Bob. Timeline and Marriages of Ernest Borgnine,; accessed October 17, 2014.
  5. ^ "Ernest Borgnine Biography". University of North Alabama Library. Archived from the original on May 28, 2010.

External links[edit]