Irene Cara Escalera was an American singer, composer, and actress best known for her portrayal of Coco Hernandez in the 1980 musical film Fame, as well as her rendition of the film’s title song “Fame,” which reached number one in multiple countries.
Cara co-wrote and sang the song “Flashdance… What a Feeling” (from the film Flashdance) in 1983, for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song and a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 1984. Prior to her fame with Fame, Cara starred as Sparkle Williams in the original 1976 musical drama picture Sparkle.
The Reason for the Death of ‘Flashdance’ Singer Irene Cara Has Been Disclosed.
Irene Cara, best known for her roles in the 1980s film Fame, in which she also performed the theme song, and for winning an Oscar for the theme song in 1983’s Flashdance, died of high cholesterol and hypertension, according to her publicist, Judith A. Moose, and the medical examiner in Florida’s Pinellas County.
Cara had arteriosclerotic (cholesterol/plaque buildup in the arteries) and hypertensive cardiovascular disease (induced by high blood pressure), according to the medical examiner’s office, and diabetes was a contributing factor. Natural was given as the cause of death.
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Cara, 63, died at home on November 25. Moose broke the heartbreaking news on social media.
“She was a beautifully gifted soul whose legacy will live on via her songs and films forever,” she wrote after requesting privacy for Cara’s family. She also stated that a memorial for Cara’s fans would be announced later.
A message from the late star’s official Twitter account on Jan. 26 reacted to a fan who speculated that Cara was still alive because no details for a public memorial had been provided.
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“While I would love nothing more than for that to be true, it isn’t,” the post said. “I’m currently waiting to hear back from the places I’ve contacted in order to schedule her public memorial. The date is provisionally set for March 18th (her birthday).
I’ll post further updates as they become available.”
In addition to the Oscar for “Flashdance… What a Feeling,” she received a Golden Globe and two Grammys.