Irene Cara, ‘Flashdance’ Star and Oscar-Winning Singer, Dead at 63

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Irene Cara, the actress and singer who co-wrote the hit track for the 1983 dance film Flashdance that earned her Oscar and GRAMMY wins, has died. She was 63.

Cara's rep, Judith A. Moose, released a statement Saturday in which she announced that "it is with profound sadness that on behalf of her family I announce the passing of Irene Cara." She added, "The Academy Award winning actress, singer, songwriter, and producer passed away in her Florida home. Her cause of death is currently unknown and will be released when information is available."

Moose went on to say that the family has "requested privacy as they process their grief. She was a beautifully gifted soul whose legacy will live forever through her music and films. Funeral services are pending and a memorial for her fans will be planned at a future date."

Irene Cara
Getty

 Cara, who also earned fame for her role as Coco Hernandez in the 1980 film Fame and for playing the title character in the 1976 musical Sparkle, co-wrote the hit track "Flashdance... What a Feeling." The song would go on to earn Cara an Academy Award for Best Original Song and a GRAMMY for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

As Coco Hernandez in Fame, Cara performed "Out Here on My Own" as well as the title track. The two singles became instant hits, and they were also nominated for Academy Awards for Best Original Song. The title track took home the Oscar.

In Sparkle, Cara portrayed the title character, Sparkle Williams, who breaks out as a star between her and her two sisters pursuing stardom.

Cara's other credits include performing on the Broadway shows The Me Nobody Knows and Via Galactica. The New York City native also earned roles in television with appearances in Love of Life and Roots: The Next Generations. Some of her other film credits include Aaron Loves Angela, Killing 'em Softly, and Sister, Sister.

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