• Marlene Knaus was the first wife of Formula One champion Niki Lauda
• Little is known about her life before meeting Niki, but she was a cover model in the 70s
• She became popular through her marriage to Niki and followed him to races around the world
• They divorced in 1991 due to Niki's extra-marital affair, and she received a large sum in the settlement
• She remains single, while Niki has remarried and has two children with his new wife

Known for movies

Short Info

SpouseSam Riley
FactWhen leaving Romania, her family planned to emigrate to Canada, but remained in Germany.

Who is Marlene Knaus?

Austrian born Marlene Knaus was the first wife of the famous Formula One champion, Niki Lauda. Unfortunately, her birthplace and birth date remain unknown to the media, but we will try to bring you closer to the life of the lesser-known, now ex-wife of Niki Lauda.

Life Before Marlene Met Niki Lauda

Marlene’s life before she and Niki met remains a mystery to the media – there is no information in regards to her childhood, parents, and siblings. However, in the ‘70s Marlene started her rise to prominence, firstly as a cover model for a number of high profile magazines, which gave her star status in her native Austria. Many wanted to be Marlene, and many wanted to be with Marlene, but…she captured the heart of Niki Lauda.

First Meeting with Niki Lauda

It was in the ‘70s that the two met; no precise details of how, but it’s known that Niki at the time had a girlfriend with whom he was with for around eight years. Be that as it may, Niki broke up with his then-girlfriend and commenced a romantic relationship with Marlene.

Popularity Through Marriage

Marlene would follow Niki around the world during the Formula One seasons, which made their relationship stronger. After several years of dating, the couple decided to tie the knot in 1976 – it was the year when Niki was involved in a serious crash at the Nürburgring during the German Grand Prix, in which he was trapped in his vehicle that went off the track, hit an embankment and burst into flames. Luckily, Niki survived the crash but was left with burns over his face that have scarred him for life. Since then, he always wears a hat to cover some of the scared area. The couple remained married until 1991 when they decided to divorce. Sadly, no details about the reason for the divorce were ever stated, though the two have remained quite good friends since then, and often spend vacations together at Ibiza, Spain. Her marriage to Niki made her rather popular with the public, despite the fact that she decided to be a support to her husband and a mother to their children, instead of chasing her own career. She was quite a successful model, and was considered a fashion icon in the late ’60s and early ’70s before marrying Niki Lauda.

Divorce and Life After Divorce

Although the reason for their divorce was never made public, it was discovered that Niki had an extra-marital affair, and fathered a son. Niki has remarried in 2008 to Birgit Wetzinger, who is 30 years younger than him. They have twins together, a boy and a girl. Marlene has lived a quiet life in Ibiza, Spain, away from the public eyes. She is still single.

Marlene Knaus Children

Marlene and Niki have two sons together, Mathias born in 1981, who has followed in his father’s footsteps and is now a racer himself, but instead of Formula One is racing for Aston Martin Racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship, and Lucas, who is Mathias’ manager. Unfortunately, Mathias hasn’t have much success in the racing industry.

Marlene Knaus Net Worth

Following her marriage to Niki, Marlene didn’t pursue a career of her own, and instead focused on supporting her husband and raising children. However, once the divorce was final, Marlene’s efforts paid off. She gained a massive amount from the divorce since Lauda already had wealth of close to $100 million. So, have you ever wondered how rich Marlene Knaus is, as of mid- 2018? According to authoritative sources, Marlene’s net worth is as high as $43 million.

Marlene Knaus Ex-Husband, Niki Lauda

Now that we have covered all the most important information about Marlene, let’s share a few details about Niki Lauda. Born Andreas Nikolaus “Niki” Lauda on the 22nd February 1949, in Vienna, Austria, he is now considered one of the greatest Formula 1 drivers. His parents were against his dreams, nevertheless, he followed his desire for speed. During his career that lasted from 1971 until 1985, he won three Championship titles, but he is the only driver to win the Championship while driving for two top constructor teams, Ferrari, and McLaren. Aside from Formula One, Niki is a businessman and entrepreneur, having launched two airlines, Lauda Air and Niki. Currently, he serves as a pundit for German TV during Grand Prix weekends, and is also a non-executive chairman of the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team, of which he owns 10%.

General Info

Full NameAlexandra Maria Lara
Height1.74 m
EducationFranzösisches Gymnasium Berlin


SpouseSam Riley
ChildrenBen Riley
ParentsValentin Platareanu, Doina Platareanu


AwardsBambi - German film
MoviesRush, Downfall, Youth Without Youth, The Reader, The Baader Meinhof Complex, Woman in Love, Control, The City of Your Final Destination, Where Is Fred?, Miracle at St. Anna, I Really Hate My Job, Vom Suchen und Finden der Liebe, Suite Française, The Tunnel, Farewell, Leo & Claire, City of Life, Qua...
TV ShowsThe Company, The Wishing Tree, Doctor Zhivago, Stella Stellaris, You Are Wanted, Napoléon, Mensch, Pia!, Der Tunnel

Social profile links


1No matter what happens to me and my career in the future, Berlin is always going to be my hometown.


1Gave birth to her first child, a son, Ben in January 2014. Father is Sam Riley.
2Lives in Berlin with boyfriend Sam Riley.
3Moved to Germany at the age of 4.
4Member of the 'Official Competition' jury at the 61st Cannes International Film Festival in 2008.
5Met companion Sam Riley on the set of Control (2007).
6Split from boyfriend Florian Unger after 9 years. (2006).
7Failed to pass driver's license three times.
8Due to her convincing performance in Downfall (2004), Francis Ford Coppola wrote her a letter and gave her a leading role in Youth Without Youth (2007).
9When leaving Romania, her family planned to emigrate to Canada, but remained in Germany.
10Daughter of actor Valentin Platareanu.
11Often used to travel to Bucharest to visit her grandmother.
12Member of the 'Official Competition' jury at the 4th Transylvania International Film Festival (TIFF) in 2005.
13Ranked #1 in a list by tabloid "Bild" searching the "50 most beautiful Germans of today" (28 April 2005).




Der Tunnel2001Charlotte 'Lotte' Lohmann
Luftpiraten - 113 Passagiere in Todesangst2000TV MovieNicolette
Die Kommissarin2000TV SeriesSabine Sasse
Vertrauen ist alles2000TV MovieJennifer Blankenburg
Südsee, eigene Insel1999Sandra
Sperling1999TV Series
Bukow and König1999TV SeriesMeike
Die Bubi Scholz Story1998TV MovieRenate - jung
Tatort1998TV SeriesKerstin
Die Mädchenfalle - Der Tod kommt online1998TV MovieSilke Hartmann
Das Vorsprechen1997ShortJunge Schauspielerin
Faust1997TV SeriesLaura
Mensch, Pia!1996TV SeriesPia Mangold
Ich begehre dich1995Mädchen am Bahnhof
Stella Stellaris1994TV Mini-Series
Geostorm2017post-productionUte Fassbinder
Nur Gott kann mich richten2017filming
You Are Wanted2017TV Series filmingHanna Franke
Vier gegen die Bank2016Freddie
Robbi, Tobbi und das Fliewatüüt2016Sharon Schalldämpfer
Der geilste Tag2016Mona
Suite Française2014Leah
Rush2013/IMarlene Lauda
Move On2012Szefowa Lena
Je n'ai rien oublié2010Simone Senn
Quartier lointain2010Anna Verniaz née Zorn, la mère
City of Life2009Natalia Moldovan
L'affaire Farewell2009Jessica
The City of Your Final Destination2009Deirdre Rothemund
Hinter Kaifeck2009Juliana Lukas
The Reader2008Young Ilana Mather
The Baader Meinhof Complex2008Petra Schelm
Miracle at St. Anna2008Axis Sally
Youth Without Youth2007Veronica / Laura / Rupini
I Really Hate My Job2007Suzie
Control2007Annik Honore
The Company2007TV Mini-SeriesLili
Wo ist Fred?2006Denise Poppnick
Offset2006Brindusa Herghelegiu
Der Fischer und seine Frau2005Ida
Vom Suchen und Finden der Liebe2005Venus Morgenstern
Cowgirl2004Johanna 'Paula' Jakobi / Murderous Lady im Film Noir
Downfall2004Traudl Junge
Leise Krieger2004ShortNora
Der Wunschbaum2004TV Mini-SeriesCamilla Senger, geb. Hofmann
Trenck - Zwei Herzen gegen die Krone2003TV MoviePrinzessin Amélie (Anna Amalia)
Doctor Zhivago2002TV Mini-SeriesTonya Gromyko Zhivago
Napoléon2002TV Mini-SeriesComtesse Marie Walewska
Schleudertrauma2002TV MovieDoreen
Was nicht passt, wird passend gemacht2002Astrid
Liebe und Verrat2002TV MovieMarie Irimia
Leo und Claire2001Käthe Katzenberger
99euro-films2001segment "Privat"


Janela Indiscreta2013TV SeriesHerself
Die Harald Schmidt Show2011TV SeriesHerself
The 2011 European Film Awards2011TV SpecialHerself - Presenter
Zimmer frei!2010TV SeriesHerself
Wetten, dass..?2004-2010TV SeriesHerself
The City of Your Final Destination: Sorting It Out at Ocho Rios2010Video documentary shortHerself
NDR Talk Show2010TV SeriesHerself
Mein Leben2009TV Series documentaryHerself
The Making of I Really Hate My Job2008TV MovieHerself
Beckmann2005-2008TV SeriesHerself
Empire Movie Awards 20082008TV SpecialHerself
Up Close with Carrie Keagan2007TV SeriesHerself
Coda: Thirty Years Later2007TV Movie documentaryHerself
Harald Schmidt2005-2006TV SeriesHerself
Die Johannes B. Kerner Show2004-2005TV SeriesHerself
III nach neun2003-2005TV SeriesHerself
TV total2004TV SeriesHerself
4Pop2004TV Series documentaryHerself
Hitlers letzte Tage - Der Film 'Der Untergang'2004TV Movie documentaryHerself (uncredited)
Gero von Boehm begegnet...2003TV Series documentaryHerself
Die Harald Schmidt Show2001TV SeriesHerself

Archive Footage

Unsere Besten2006TV SeriesVarious roles


Won Awards

2006Best ActressMilano International Film Festival Awards (MIFF Awards)Der Fischer und seine Frau (2005)
2005Golden CameraGolden Camera, GermanyBest German ActressDer Untergang (2004)
2005Undine AwardUndine Awards, AustriaBest Young Comedian (Beste/-r jugendliche/-r Komödiant/-in)Vom Suchen und Finden der Liebe (2005)
2004BambiBambi AwardsFilm - NationalDer Untergang (2004)

Nominated Awards

2012BambiBambi AwardsFilm - NationalRubbeldiekatz (2011)
2005Undine AwardUndine Awards, AustriaBest Young Character Actor (Bester jugendlicher Charakterdarsteller)Cowgirl (2004)

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

Write A Comment

Pin It