Fame and Flashdance actress Irene Cara has passed away at 63

Cheryl E Preston

Irene Cara's death has been announced

Irene CaraPhoto byFox News Screenshot

Irene Cara who recorded the hit song What A Feeling and had roles in the films Flashdance and Fame has passed away at age 63. People is reporting that her publicist Judith A Moose confirmed the death on Saturday via the singer's Twitter account. "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." "Irene's family has requested privacy as they process their grief," the rep added. "She was a beautifully gifted soul whose legacy will live forever through her music and films."

Cara rose to prominence in 1980 when she was cast in the musical Fame, as Coco Hernandez and sang the title song. Her performance in the film led to her earning two Grammy nominations, one for best new artist and the other for best pop vocal performance, female, at the 23rd annual Grammy ceremony.

Irene Cara Escalera was born on March 18, 1959, in New York City, the youngest of five children. Her father, Gaspar Escalera, was a Puerto Rican factory worker and retired saxophonist. Her mother, Louise Escalera was a movie theater usher, who was Cuban-American. During the 1970s Irene was the original Daisy Allen on the CBS soap Love of Life.

Cara turned down the opportunity to reprise her role as Coco for the NBC television series Fame and decided to work on her record career. This led to actress Erica Gimbel being chosen to play Coco. In April 1986 she married film director and stuntman Conrad Palmisano and they divorced in 1991. The entertainer passed away in her home in Largo Florida on Friday, November 25 but at this time a cause of death has not been released.

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