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Marlene Knaus - Ex-Wife Of Former F1 Driver Niki Lauda

With her marriage to Austrian Formula One racer Niki Lauda, Marlene Knaus gained widespread attention. Knaus, however, had her own means of support thanks to a variety of occupations she held before being married.

Author:Iram Martins
Reviewer:Elisa Mueller
Feb 25, 2024
With her marriage to Austrian Formula One racer Niki Lauda, Marlene Knausgained widespread attention. Knaus, however, had her own means of support thanks to a variety of occupations she held before being married.
She was a well-known socialite and style icon in the 1960s because to her stints as a fashion designer and model.
Although Marlene chose to live a low-key life after her divorce from Lauda in 1991, all of this helped her develop her own portfolio.
The couple, Marlene and Niki Lauda, remained in the spotlight as a result of an unexpected event that took place under murky circumstances.

Quick Facts About Marlene Knaus

NameMarlene Knaus
Net worth$43 million

Marlene Knaus Biography

U.S. citizen Marlene Knaus was born and raised in her native nation. Knaus's parents, whose identities remain unknown, are Venezuelan-American, and she may trace her roots to Venezuela. She was born in the United States and retained her American citizenship until she married Niki Lauda in the mid-1970s and became an Austrian citizen by descent.
Images of Marlene show that she is white, with dark brown eyes and long black hair. She has an approximate height of 167 centimeters and a weight of 63 kilos.
Details concerning Marlene's academic career remain missing, much like the rest of her life. However, she did finish primary and secondary school.
Marlene's first job in the fashion industry was as a model. Her career took off, though, once she married her now-ex-husband, Niki Lauda. She was the "it" girl of the day, and she was frequently featured in magazines and on the covers of websites.
While dating Niki, she continued working, but eventually she gave it up to devote herself to her new husband and their family. She's done stints as a photographer and an interior decorator in addition to her modeling work.
Marlene Knaus with her ex-husband Niki Lauda with a smile on their faces
Marlene Knaus with her ex-husband Niki Lauda with a smile on their faces

Marlene Knaus Marriage

Marlene became famous thanks to Niki Lauda's wealth. Curt Jurgens, a well-known German and Austrian stage and screen actor, was Marlene's ex-boyfriend before she started dating Niki. It was during a dinner party hosted by Curt Jurgens that the unexpected happened: Knaus and Niki finally met each other.
Niki Lauda met Mariella Reininghaus in 1968, by which time he had already married her. Niki ended his eight-year marriage to Mariella Reininghaus in favor of a connection with Marlene and filed for divorce in 1975.
Niki Lauda began dating Marlene after divorcing his first wife, and the two married on March 11, 1976. Apparently they were always in the public eye due to the scandal that surrounded the beginning of their relationship; theirs was one of the most publicized relationships of the period and was frequently the subject of third-page newspaper headlines.
Niki Lauda, the husband of Marlene Knaus, came dangerously close to dying in a race in 1976, shortly after the couple tied the knot. He was competing for his second Formula One world championship at the time. According to reports, Arturo Merzario, another driver, dove into the burning Ferrari to free Lauda from his seatbelt after the car took fire. The extent of Niki's burns and the damage to his eyelashes reportedly caused Knaus to pass out.
After looking at his burns, rumors spread that Niki would soon die. However, he pulled through, and just six weeks later, he was back on the track. His second title victory came around this time in 1977.
Their first child, a son they called Lukas, was born to Marlene and Niki Lauda on April 5, 1979. Mathias Lauda was born on January 30, 1981, making him the couple's second child. Marlene's two boys are currently in the racing industry as drivers and managers, and they are 43 and 41 years old, respectively.
Marlene and Niki divorced after 15 years of marriage in 1991. Niki and Marlene Lauda never spoke publicly about the reasons for their divorce, however it has been rumored that Marlene found out that Niki had an extramarital affair while they were still married and that this affair resulted in the birth of Niki's son, Christoph Lauda.
Niki Lauda remarried flight attendant Birgit Wetzinger on August 25, 2008, a few years after the couple's breakup. Mia and Max Lauda are the names of Niki and Birgit Wetzinger's children while they were married from 2008 till his death in 2019.
Marlene Knaus with her ex-husband Niki Lauda sitting on a chair
Marlene Knaus with her ex-husband Niki Lauda sitting on a chair

Marlene Knaus Ex-Husband

Niki Lauda, who used to be married to Marlene Knaus, was born Andreas Nikolaus "Niki" Lauda on February 22, 1949, in Vienna, Austria. If he were still alive in January 2023, he would be 73 years old. He was born into a wealthy family that made paper. His grandfather, Hans Lauda, was a successful businessman who was born in Vienna. Ernst-Peter and Elisabeth Lauda raised him and his only brother, Florian Lauda.
Niki Lauda's maternal grandfather, Dr. Emil von Linhart, his paternal grandparents, Hans Lauda and Emmi Lauda, and his step-grandmother, Helga Lauda, are also well-known family members. His great grandparents, Ernst Lauda and Maria Lauda. His uncle on his father's side was Heinz Lauda. His great-uncle was Adolf Lauda, and his great-aunt was Maria Lauda. Tilly Knauss is his ex-brother-in-law, and Renate Knauss is his ex-sister-in-law.
Aside from that, Marlene's ex-husband Niki Lauda's family didn't like that he chose to be a race car driver as a career. He went into the business, and by the time he died, he was worth about €500 million. Both Niki Airlines and Lauda Air were started by him.
Niki Lauda, who used to be married to Marlene, died of kidney problems on May 20, 2019, at the University Hospital of Zürich in Zürich, Switzerland. He was buried on May 29, 2019, at Heiligenstadt Cemetery in Vienna, Austria. Lewis Hamilton, Bernie Eccleston, and Arnold Schwarzenegger were among the famous people who went to his funeral at St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, the capital of Austria. Alexander van der Bellen, the president of Austria, and Sebastian Kurz, who used to be chancellor but was fired, both said a few words to honor him.
Niki died on Monday, May 20, 2019, ten months after getting a new lung. He got the new lung in August 2018 at a private hospital in Vienna after getting sick with flu-like symptoms while on vacation in Ibiza. And doctors in Vienna, where he was getting treatment before he died, confirmed that he had a "severe lung disease."
Birgit Wetzinger, the widowed wife of Marlene and Niki Lauda, was next to his bed at the University Hospital of Zürich when he died. Even after they broke up in 1991, Marlene and Niki stayed good friends.

Rush: Alexandra Maria Lara "Marlene Lauda" On Set Interview | ScreenSlam

Marlene Knaus Net Worth

It is thought that Marlene Knaus has a net worth of about $43 million. She got most of her money from what her ex-husband, Niki Lauda, left her in his will. He also left her a house in Ibiza, Spain, which she lives in.
At the time of his death, her ex-husband was worth about €500 million, which he got by moving from Formula One to Formula Three. His money went to Marlene's two sons, Niki's other children with Birgit Wetzinger, and Christoph Lauda, who was not his real son. But a big part of the money went to Marlene and Christoph.

People Also Ask

Is Marlene Knaus Still Alive?

Yes, Marlene is still alive, and she may be found in Ibiza, Spain.

Who Played Marlene Knaus In Rush?

In the move Rush, Alexandra Maria Lara took on the role of Marlene Knaus.

What Happened To Marlene Knaus?

After being married to Niki Lauda for 15 years, Marlene Knaus filed for divorce, and no one has heard from or seen her since.


In the 2013 movie "Rush," Alexandra Maria played Marlene and Daniel Brühl played Niki. The movie was mostly about the rivalry between Niki and fellow "Formula 1" racer James Hunt during the 1976 "Formula 1" season. The movie showed that Marlene didn't know about Niki's fame at first.
In the movie, Alexandra wore Marlene's signature loose top-knot bun hairstyle just right. When Niki went to the set of "Rush," he saw Alexandra in full Marlene avatar from a distance and yelled, "Marlene! Marlene!"
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Iram Martins

Iram Martins

Iram Martins is a seasoned travel writer and explorer with over a decade of experience in uncovering the world's hidden gems. Holding a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Management from the University of Lisbon, Iram's credentials highlight his authority in the realm of travel. As an author of numerous travel guides and articles for top travel publications, his writing is celebrated for its vivid descriptions and practical insights. Iram’s passion for cultural immersion and off-the-beaten-path adventures shines through in his work, captivating readers and inspiring wanderlust. Outside of his writing pursuits, Iram enjoys learning new languages, reviewing films and TV shows, writing about celebrity lifestyles, and attending cultural festivals.
Elisa Mueller

Elisa Mueller

Elisa Mueller, a Kansas City native, grew up surrounded by the wonders of books and movies, inspired by her parents' passion for education and film. She earned bachelor's degrees in English and Journalism from the University of Kansas before moving to New York City, where she spent a decade at Entertainment Weekly, visiting film sets worldwide. With over 8 years in the entertainment industry, Elisa is a seasoned journalist and media analyst, holding a degree in Journalism from NYU. Her insightful critiques have been featured in prestigious publications, cementing her reputation for accuracy and depth. Outside of work, she enjoys attending film festivals, painting, writing fiction, and studying numerology.
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