Marlene Knaus: Biography, Net Worth, Career, Relationship, Everything to Know

Marlene Knaus, renowned as a former model and interior designer, rose to prominence as the former spouse of the late Formula One legend, Niki Lauda. Their marital bond endured for 15 years before their separation in 1991. Knaus, an icon of 1960s modeling, captivated audiences with her charm and impeccable fashion sense. Delving into her early life, we uncover a trajectory marked by her innate talent and dedication to aesthetics. Beyond her role as Lauda’s wife, Knaus carved her path in the world of interior design, showcasing her creativity and flair. While details of her net worth remain relatively private, her impact in the spheres of fashion and design is undeniable, leaving a lasting legacy that extends beyond her marriage to the racing legend.

Marlene Knaus’ Early Life

Born in 1956 in the United States with Venezuelan heritage, Marlene Knaus later obtained Austrian citizenship. Despite her public presence as a former model and interior designer, Knaus maintains a strict privacy stance regarding her personal life, leaving details about her parents, potential siblings, and educational background undisclosed. This guarded approach reflects her commitment to keeping aspects of her life away from public scrutiny, aligning with her preference for privacy during her notable career and high-profile relationships.

Marlene Knaus’ Career

Before her marriage, Marlene Knaus enjoyed a thriving modeling career that flourished during the 1960s. Renowned for her elegance and striking allure, she captivated audiences and emerged as a coveted figure in both the modeling and advertising realms. Gracing the covers of prestigious magazines and representing prominent brands, Knaus left an indelible imprint with her distinctive style and iconic hairstyles. Transitioning beyond the confines of modeling, she explored her creative talents in design, showcasing her versatility and leaving a lasting impact on the fashion industry through her innovative contributions.

What is Marlene Knaus’ Net Worth?

As of 2024, Marlene Knaus possesses a net worth estimated at $43 million, largely attributed to an inheritance following the passing of her former husband, Niki Lauda, as stipulated in his will. In contrast, Lauda himself boasted a net worth of approximately $200 million at the time of his demise. This significant financial legacy underscores the enduring impact of Lauda’s success in the world of Formula One racing and business ventures, while also highlighting Knaus’s substantial financial standing following their divorce.

Who is Niki Lauda?

Born on February 22, 1949, in Vienna, Austria, Niki Lauda, the renowned Formula One driver and aviation tycoon, left an indelible mark on the annals of motorsport history. His passing on May 20, 2019, at the age of 70, marked the culmination of a storied and illustrious career. Lauda’s legacy is immortalized by his three World Drivers’ Championship titles, triumphantly secured in 1975, 1977, and 1984. Despite enduring a harrowing crash in 1976 that resulted in severe injuries, Lauda showcased unparalleled resilience by returning to racing mere weeks later. Beyond the racetrack, his entrepreneurial prowess was evidenced by ventures like Lauda Air, reflecting his multifaceted talents and unwavering determination. Even in retirement, Lauda remained a revered and esteemed figure within the motorsport community, his enduring legacy continuing to resonate deeply with fans across the globe.

Marlene Knaus And Niki Lauda’s Relationship

The romantic saga of Marlene and Niki commenced in 1975 during a dinner hosted by actor Curt Jurgens, who happened to be Marlene’s then-boyfriend. Despite Niki’s prior engagement with Mariella von Reininghaus, sparks flew between Marlene and Niki, leading to the swift dissolution of their respective relationships. Just two months after their initial encounter, the couple embarked on a journey of romance. Their love story culminated in a heartfelt family-oriented wedding ceremony in 1976, solidifying their bond. What began as a chance meeting blossomed into a profound and enduring marriage that spanned 15 years, characterized by mutual admiration and unwavering devotion.

Marlene Knaus And Niki Lauda’s Divorce

Marlene and Niki’s seemingly idyllic marriage encountered an unexpected hurdle in 1982 when Niki became involved in an extramarital affair with a woman who remained anonymous to the media. This liaison resulted in the birth of Niki’s third son, Christoph, with reports indicating that Niki and the mother agreed to maintain separate lives, resulting in minimal contact between Niki and Christoph. Despite the public scrutiny and controversy surrounding the affair, Marlene chose to stand by Niki’s side for an additional nine years, striving to weather the storm together. However, the strain on their relationship became untenable, leading to their eventual separation in 1991, thereby concluding their 15-year-long union. While speculation abounds, the precise reasons for their divorce remain undisclosed, shrouded in privacy amid the dissolution of their once seemingly perfect marriage.

Marlene Knaus And Niki Lauda’s Children

Niki Lauda and Marlene Knaus are parents to two children, Lucas Lauda, born in 1979, and Mathias Lauda, born in 1981. Following in his father‘s footsteps, Mathias pursued a career as a rally driver, with Lucas taking on the role of his manager. However, in 1982, Lauda’s life took a tumultuous turn when he became the father of another son, Christoph, from an extramarital affair, sparking widespread scandal and public scrutiny. Despite the challenges posed by the revelation, Marlene exhibited unwavering dedication to her husband, steadfastly standing by him amidst the tumultuous period in their marriage, underscoring her commitment to their relationship despite the adversities they faced.

Niki Lauda’s Death

Following his illustrious career in Formula One racing, Niki Lauda transitioned into the aviation industry, where he achieved remarkable success by establishing three airlines: Niki, Lauda Air, and Lauda. Despite encountering numerous challenges along the way, Lauda found love once again with Birgit Wetzinger, a flight attendant who was 30 years his junior. Their union in 2008 was blessed with the arrival of twin children, Mia and Max, bringing newfound joy to Lauda’s life. However, tragedy struck nearly three decades after his divorce from Marlene Knaus, as Niki Lauda passed away on May 20, 2019, at the age of 70. Reports indicate that he was undergoing dialysis treatment for kidney issues at the University Hospital of Zurich at the time of his passing, marking the poignant conclusion of an extraordinary journey marked by triumphs, challenges, and enduring love.

Where is Marlene Knaus Now?

At 68 years old, Marlene currently resides in Ibiza, where she has deliberately distanced herself from the media spotlight, opting for a serene and secluded lifestyle away from public scrutiny. Her deliberate withdrawal from the limelight demonstrates a steadfast commitment to maintaining her privacy and independence, enabling her to relish a tranquil existence free from the incessant glare of the media. In embracing this lifestyle choice, Marlene affirms her desire for peace and solitude, prioritizing personal well-being and contentment above external recognition or attention.


In conclusion, Marlene Knaus’s journey has been marked by moments of triumph, resilience, and unwavering commitment to her principles. From her early days as a renowned model to her role as the wife of Formula One legend Niki Lauda, Marlene has navigated the complexities of fame and personal relationships with grace and poise. Despite the challenges and upheavals she has faced, Marlene’s steadfast dedication to privacy and authenticity has remained unwavering, allowing her to carve out a life of serenity and fulfillment on her terms. As she continues to embrace a quiet existence away from the public eye, Marlene serves as a reminder of the power of self-determination and the importance of staying true to oneself amidst life’s ever-changing landscape.

Frequently Ask Questions

1. Who is Marlene Knaus? Marlene Knaus is a former model and interior designer who gained prominence as the ex-wife of the late Formula One racer, Niki Lauda.

2. When and where was Marlene Knaus born? Marlene Knaus was born in 1956 in the United States, with Venezuelan roots. She later became an Austrian citizen.

3. How long was Marlene Knaus married to Niki Lauda? Marlene Knaus was married to Niki Lauda for 15 years, from their wedding in 1976 until their divorce in 1991.

4. How many children does Marlene Knaus have? Marlene Knaus has two children with Niki Lauda: Lucas Lauda, born in 1979, and Mathias Lauda, born in 1981.

5. What is Marlene Knaus’s net worth? As of 2024, Marlene Knaus’s net worth is estimated to be $43 million, primarily inherited after Niki Lauda’s passing.

6. What happened to Marlene Knaus after her divorce from Niki Lauda? Following her divorce from Niki Lauda, Marlene Knaus maintained a private life, residing in Ibiza and staying out of the media spotlight.

7. Did Marlene Knaus have any involvement in the aviation industry like Niki Lauda? No, Marlene Knaus did not have any involvement in the aviation industry like Niki Lauda. She primarily focused on her career as a model and interior designer.

James Blogger

Hello! I'm James Blogger, a passionate writer with six years of professional experience. I specialize in creating engaging content that resonates with audiences. Through my blog, I share insights, tips, and in-depth analysis on a variety of topics. Join me on this journey to explore new ideas and expand our horizons together!

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