Actress and singer Irene Cara, an Oscar and Grammy winner best known for the theme songs of “Fame” and “Flashdance” in the early ’80s, has died, her publicist said. She was 63.
“Please share your thoughts and memories of Irene,” Judith Moose said in a tweet announcing the singer’s death. “I’ll be reading each and every one of them and know she’ll be smiling from Heaven. She adored her fans.
“She was a beautifully gifted soul whose legacy will live forever through her music and films.”
Cara died in her Florida home. The cause of death is unknown, according to Moose’s statement.
As a youth, Cara appeared on TV’s “Electric Company” before acting as a teen in the movies “Aaron Loves Angela” and “Sparkle.”
Her breakthrough came as Coco Hernandez in the 1980 musical “Fame,” about New York’s High School for the Performing Arts. She had a hit record with that movie’s title song, and another with the ballad “Out Here on My Own.” She was nominated for a Golden Globe and two Grammys that year.
Three years later, Cara co-wrote the lyrics for “Flashdance… What a Feeling,” another radio smash for which she received an Oscar for Best Original Song and a Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female.
She had a few other hits, including “Why Me” and “Breakdance.” She also acted in movies such as “City Heat” with Burt Reynolds and Clint Eastwood, “DC Cab” with Mr. T and “Certain Fury” with Tatum O’Neal.