By Abb Jones
The Reelness

Oscar and Grammy-winning singer/actress Irene Cara, known for her hit songs from the 1980s films Fame and Flashdance, has died at her home in Largo, Florida.

Her publicist made the announcement Saturday morning, saying Cara’s cause of death is not yet known, asking the public to respect the family’s privacy at this time.

Irene Cara and Keith Forsey with their Best Original Song Oscars for 1983’s Flashdance… What a Feeling

Cara’s big break came in portraying Coco Hernandez in the 1980 dramatic musical Fame, about students at a performing arts high school in New York. Cara recorded two songs for the film – “Fame” and “Out Here on My Own” – which scored double Best Original Song Oscar nominations, the first time two songs from the same film were nominated. “Fame” would win the Oscar and later, a Grammy.

Cara would quickly harness that momentum by co-writing and singing the title track for the 1983 film Flashdance, which starred Jennifer Beals as a steelworker and dancer with dreams of becoming a ballerina. “Flashdance… What a Feeling” would earn Cara an Oscar for Best Original Song and two Grammy awards, including one for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

In subsequent years, Cara, who was married to stuntman and film director Conrad Palmisano from 1986 to 1991, appeared in a handful of films and periodically toured with other 80s era musical acts.

Irene Cara was 63.


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