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Irene Cara, Oscar winner for Flashdance, dies




Irene Cara

Irene Cara, who won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a Grammy for the smash hit “Flashdance…What a Feeling” from the film Flashdance, has died. She was 63.

A post from Irene Cara’s publicist read, in part, “It is with profound sadness that on behalf of her family I announce the passing of Irene Cara…The Academy Award winning actress, singer, songwriter and producer passed away in her Florida home.” No official cause of death has been revealed.

Irene Cara first broke out with 1980’s Fame, in which she played aspiring professional performer Coco Hernandez. For her inspiring turn, Cara earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. Cara hit even bigger fame a few years later with 1983’s Flashdance, which took home the Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Original Song. She would also nab the Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. A Flashdance series was announced as being in development in 2020, while Fame has previously been adapted for the small screen.

Irene Cara has the distinction of having multiple songs on the American Film Institute’s 100 Years…100 Songs list, with “Flashdance…What a Feeling” at #55 and “Fame” a few spots higher at #51.

In addition to her major successes with Fame and Flashdance, Irene Cara also appeared on the soundtracks for movies like Killing ‘em Softly, Certain Fury and All Dogs Go to Heaven.

Cara performed for much of her career, turning up on various TV shows (What’s Happening!!, Roots: The Next Generation) and stage productions (The Wiz, Jesus Chris Superstar). While she also had other charting songs, she never matched the legacy of Fame and Flashdance. Still, the songs remain classics of the 1980s moviegoing experience.

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