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Beauty Entrepreneur Tova Borgnine Dies at 80

"It is with heavy hearts we share of the peaceful passing of Tova Borgnine, our founder, leader and friend," reads a statement posted on Borgnine's social media accounts.

Pioneering beauty entrepreneur Tova Borgnine, 80, died Feb. 26.

Her passing was announced on Borgnine’s social media accounts. The cause of death is not known at this time.

“With a halo of heaven, she captured our hearts, minds and senses giving us a signature that shared our beauty,” read the statement. “With an eye for detail and design her jewelry brought sparkle to each and every day. With her stories, we took a journey with her from Hollywood to distant lands feeling as though we stood beside her. From our hearts, thank you Tova for the grace, beauty, elegance and joy you brought to us all. It is with heavy hearts we share of the peaceful passing of Tova Borgnine, our founder, leader and friend. Forever the sparkle in our hearts.”

Borgnine
Tova Borgnine WWD Staff

Born in Oslo, Norway, Borgnine relocated to the U.S. as a child with her mother in the ’50s. It was in 1977 that she founded her beauty business, Tova Beverly Hills. Launching with four skin care products, formulated with cactus extracts, the business was first sold via mail order before growing into a multimillion-dollar corporation that encompasses fragrance, cosmetics, skin care and jewelry.

The business took off after an article published noted that her now-late husband, actor Ernest Borgnine, was using her skin care goods to help with his skin issues. As a result, more than $56,000 in orders came in.

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As she grew her company, Borgnine continued to pursue alternative distribution channels. It’s what she credited her success to, she once told WWD.

Borgnine met shoppers where they were. And in 1991, she unveiled her brand on QVC, becoming a familiar face for years on the shopping network.

An author, with a business MBA from Harvard University, Borgnine has received numerous awards recognizing her achievements.