Irene Cara was an American singer and actress who rose to prominence for her role as Coco Hernandez in the 1980 musical film Fame, and for recording the film’s title song “Fame”, which reached No. 1 in several countries. In 1983, Cara co-wrote and sang the song “Flashdance… What a Feeling” (from the film Flashdance), for which she shared an Academy Award for Best Original Song and in 1984, won a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Before her success with Fame, Cara portrayed the title character Sparkle Williams in the original 1976 musical drama film Sparkle. In 2004, Irene was awarded the Prestige Award for Lifetime Achievement. In 2007, the Reel Sisters of the Disapora Film Festival presented her with the Trailblazer Award, and the Council of the City of New York honored her for her outstanding contributions as a performer.

Birth Name

Irene Cara Escalera




Singer, Songwriter, Actress


R&B, Pop, Disco




RSO, Network, Epic, Geffen, Elektra



Personal Life

Birthday / Date of Birth

Irene Cara was born on the 18th of March 1959, in New York City, New York, United States.


She was died on the 25th of November 2022 (aged 63), in Largo, Florida, United States died from arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease at her home.

Sun Sign




She has Puerto Rican and Cuban ancestry.





Her educational qualifications are unknown.

Family Details

  • Father –  Gaspar Cara (Steel factory worker and Retired saxophonist)
  • Mother – Louise Escalera (Movie theater usher)
  • Siblings – Unknown

Marital Status


Boyfriend / Spouse

Irene Cara has dated –

  • Conrad E. Palmisano

Physical Statistics


  • In feet – 5 feet 4 inches
  • In centimeters – 163 cm
  • In meters – 1.63 m


  • In Kilograms – 56 kg
  • In Pounds – 124 lbs

Body Measurements

  • Measurements – 34-24-35
  • Bust – 34 inches
  • Waist – 24 inches
  • Hip – 35 inches
  • Bra Size – 32B

Body Build


Eye Color

Dark Brown

Hair Color

Dark Brown (Natural)

Shoe Size

She wears a size 7 (US) shoe.

Dress Size

Her dress size is 5 (US).



Professional Statistics

Famous For

Irene became known as an Actress and singer best recognized for her role as Coco Hernandez in the 1980 film Fame. Her song, Flashdance… What a Feeling, became an international hit and won an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

Film Debut

In 1975, Cara had her first film onscreen role in the movie Aaron Loves Angela as Angela and she made her theatrical film debut as Jane in the Canadian thriller movie Killing ’em Softly (1982).

Television Debut

In 1970, Irene landed her first role in television by appearing as Daisy Allen in the series, Love of Life.

Singing Debut

Cara rose to fame because to Fame, a 1980 film about a group of outstanding young aspirants in New York striving to make it in the competitive performing arts industry. She performed on the title song, which was up for best original song at the Academy Awards. Cara released three studio albums: Anyone Can See (1982), What a Feelin‘ (1983) and Carasmatic (1987), the most successful of these being What a Feelin’.

Irene Cara Net worth

Irene Cara has an estimated net worth of $2 million dollars as of 2023.

Social Media Profiles

Some Lesser Known Facts About Irene Cara

  • Irene was born and raised in the Bronx, New York City, the youngest of five children.
  • Her father, Gaspar Cara, a steel factory worker and retired saxophonist, was Puerto Rican, and her mother, Louise Escalera, a movie theater usher, was Cuban.
  • She began to play the piano by ear, studied music, acting, and dance, and began taking dance lessons when she was five.
  • Her performing career started with her singing and dancing professionally on Spanish-language television. She made early TV appearances on The Original Amateur Hour (singing in Spanish) and Johnny Carson’s The Tonight Show.
  • Shortly before that, her mother entered her into multiple competitions and at the age of three, Irene was a finalist in the “Little Miss America” pageant.
  • In 1976, her first starring role was film Sparkle. The film was a box office bomb. She found her first success with the 1980 movie Fame, which was directed by Alan Parker.
  • In 1983, Cara won the Oscar Award for best songs, two grammys, the Golden Song Awards and American Music Awards for her song FlashdanceWhat a Feeling as the title of the song for Flashdance movie. In 1983, Cara won the Oscar Awards for the best music song.
  • In March 2004, Cara received two honors with an induction into the Ciboney Cafe’s Hall of Fame and a Lifetime Achievement Award presented at the sixth annual Prestige Awards.
  • In 2005, Irene was given the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Fort Lauderdale Film Institute and in 2006, was awarded the Honorary Lifetime Achievement for outstanding contribution in the African-American community by the Columbus Times of Georgia, the country’s oldest black newspaper.


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