Biography - Marlene Knaus

Last Modified: 9th Sep, 2023
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Marlene Knaus
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Who is Marlene Knaus?

Marlene Knaus is a former socialite, model, fashion designer, and fashion icon during the 1960s and the 1970s. She is better known as the first wife of late Formula 1 racing champion Niki Lauda and mother of his children Mathias Lauda and Lukas Lauda.

She is also well-recognized for her signature hairdo.

Marlene Knaus, Niki Lauda (Source: Pinterest)

Marlene Knaus – Bio, Age, Parents, Siblings

Marlene Knaus was born in 1956 in the United States. Aside from this nothing is known about her family, childhood, parents, and siblings.

Education, Ethnicity

Like his early life, there is no information on her educational history.

Her ethnicity is Venezuelan.

Marlene Knaus – Boyfriend, Husband, Children, Divorce

Niki Lauda was said to be in a relationship with his girlfriend of eight years, Mariella Reininghaus when he first met Marlene Knaus, who was also dating German-Austrian actor Curt Jurgens. Instantly charmed by her, he broke up with his lover to pursue Knaus.

Due to the nature at which their relationship began, they received a lot of attention. The couple married in 1976 after having dated for a couple of months. She and her husband welcomed two children together- sons Mathias Lauda (born on 30 January 1981) and Lukas Lauda (born in 1979).

Mathias Lauda has taken in the footsteps of his father and is a racer now while Lukas is his brother’s manager.

Niki Lauda also had a son, Christoph Lauda (born in 1982) from an extramarital affair with another woman. Knaus stood by her husband even after his cheating scandals were publicly known. But after 15 years of marriage, they divorced in 1991.

Also read: Bill Kaulitz - Singer, Songwriter, Model, Fashion designer

Marlene Knaus, Niki Lauda with their son Lukas (Source: Pinterest)

Marlene Knaus – Career

Knaus started her career as a model at a young age. Over time her success led her to work with famous brands and was known as the high-fashion "It-girl."  She graced the cover of various magazines and was very much active in the fashion industry.

After her marriage to Lauda, her popularity only increased. Her husband was the winner of the F1 World Drivers’ Championship three times, in 1975, 1977, and 1984 respectively.

Also read: Mossimo Giannulli - Fashion designer - father of Isabella Rose Giannulli and Olivia Jade Giannulli 

Marlene Knaus – Life after divorce

Marlene Knaus never married following her divorce from Niki Lauda. She raised her two sons as a single mother. Since the divorce, she has remained good friends with her ex-husband and is living under the radar.

As for Lauda, he married again. He and his second wife, Birgit Wetzinger married on August 25, 2008, after four years of dating. Wetzinger was 29 and Lauda 59 when they tied the knot. 

The couple welcomed twins- son Max Lauda and daughter Mia Lauda in September 2009.

Wetzinger, who was Lauda’s flight attendant on his budget airline Flyniki, saved his life in 2005 after donating him her kidney. They had been in a relationship for eight months when Lauda’s kidney which was donated to him by his brother in 1997 failed.

Marlene Knaus with her son Mathias Lauda (Source: affairpost)

Marlene Knaus – Husband’s death

On May 20, 2019, Niki Lauda passed away at the age of 70. It was reported that his health had been declining in the past few years. On  2 August 2018, it was announced that he had successfully undergone a double lung transplant operation.

And earlier in 2019, Lauda had been hospitalized with influenza. The 2013 movie Rush was adapted from his story.

Also read: Jenny Packham - Fashion Designer, sister of Chris Packham  

Marlene Knaus – Net Worth, Salary

Marlene Knaus’ current net worth and salary have not been estimated. She has earned money not only from her career but also from alimony and child support from her ex-husband.

At the time, Lauda’s net worth was estimated to be $100 million and Knaus’s net worth was estimated to be around $40 million. 

Marlene Knaus – Instagram, Twitter, Facebook

As for social media, she is absent from social media handles such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. She reportedly deactivated her social media in 2014.

Marlene Knaus – Body measurements

While Knaus was active as a model her body stats measured as 5ft 8in height and 34-26-35 inches being her bust, waist, and hips respectively. The figures may have changed as she has aged gracefully.

Also read: Alexa Chung - Model, Fashion designer

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