Irene Cara, star of the movie Fame and winner of an Oscar for the title song for Flashdance, has died, according to her publicist. The American singer and actress was best known for her title track in the 1980 film Fame, as well as co-writing and singing the smash hit Flashdance… What a Feeling, for which she won an Oscar and a Grammy.
She later starred in films opposite Clint Eastwood and Tatum O’Neal.
Cara’s publicist, who announced her death, said she died at home in Florida but the cause is “currently unknown”, according to the BBC.
Born in 1959 in the Bronx, New York City, Cara was the youngest of five children and started her career on Spanish-language TV. Her father was Puerto Rican and her mother, Cuban-American.
Having recorded music as a child, both in Spanish and English, she went on to appear in a number of on-and-off Broadway musicals. But it was in 1980 that Cara shot to fame when she bagged the role of Coco Hernandez – and sung Fame’s title track.
Cara appeared as the main character Coco Hernandez in Fame, which was released in 1980. It told the story of students at the High School of Performing Arts in New York, taking them from their first auditions to their senior year.
Three years later, she co-wrote Flashdance… What a Feeling for Flashdance, for which she won an Oscar for best original song and two Grammy awards for original score for a motion picture and best female pop vocal performance.
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