Oscar-winning Flashdance…What a Feeling singer Irene Cara died of complications from high blood pressure and high cholesterol, TMZ reports.
The acclaimed entertainer was found dead at her Florida home on November 25, 2022 at the age of just 63 – her death has been confirmed by her publicist Judith Moose.
Irene’s official cause of death is atherosclerotic and hypertensive cardiovascular disease, and the late star was determined to be diabetic on Pinellas County Coroner’s Documents obtained by TMZ.
“It is with deep sadness that I announce the passing of Irene Cara on behalf of her family,” Moose said in a statement. “The cause of her death is currently unknown and will be released as soon as the information becomes available.”
The post came shortly after a death hoax about Cara starring in Fame and singing its theme, leading many fans to worry the latest announcement could be part of another lie.
Tragedy: Oscar-winning Flashdance… What a Feeling singer Irene Cara died of complications from high blood pressure and high cholesterol, TMZ reports (pictured in 2007)
“Sorry if that’s true but I’m afraid after the hoax it’s hard to believe,” Twitter user Rachael L wrote in response to Moose. “On Friday (November 25), representatives for the actress officially confirmed that Irene Cara is not dead.
“She joins the long list of celebrities who have been victims of this scam,” read the previous announcement.
However, Moose confirmed that Saturday’s announcement was genuine, adding that “we are all in shock.”
Born Irene Escalera in the Bronx, Cara came from humble roots — her mother, Louise, was a cashier, while her father, Gaspar, was a steelworker and musician.
Cara inherited her father’s talent and became a trained singer, actress and dancer, having many stage and television appearances as a child, including on PBS and Johnny Carson’s The Tonight Show.
The actor rose to fame in 1980 playing Coco Hernandez in the hit musical Fame.
She received two Grammy nominations for the musical, and won Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Singer awards.
Cara won a Grammy and an Oscar in 1984 with the title track to Flashdance, which starred Jennifer Beals.
Cara was loved for her role as Coco Hernandez in the hit musical film Fame (pictured) in 1980.
Many fans were shocked and did not immediately believe the news of Cara’s death after the joke
Pictured: Cara (far left) poses alongside her fellow Fame actors in 1980. Her rendition of the title track remains one of the most memorable tunes from a decade of classics
Pictured: Cara holds her Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Female Singer. She released some of the most memorable hits of the early 80’s
She fell out of the limelight after suing her former record company over her earnings in the 1990s. For this, Cara was awarded $1.5 million by a California jury in 1993. As a result, however, she was shunned by the music industry, and her career suffered as a result.
In confirming Cara’s death, Moose wrote, “She was a wonderfully gifted soul whose legacy will live on forever through her music and films.”
The publicist also expressed his sympathy for the performer’s fans over the recent death hoax.
“None of us have ever been contacted about the hoax on a Facebook page. I totally understand that it’s hard to believe. We are all in shock.
The youngest of five children, Cara made her stage debut at the age of three and was a finalist for the 1962 Little Miss America Pageant.
The daughter of a Puerto Rican father and a Cuban mother, Cara appeared on Spanish-language television shows for a period before becoming a regular on PBS’s educational program, The Electric Company.
In addition to her television work, Cara has appeared in a number of Off-Broadway productions and her first major role came in 1976 as Sparkle Williams in the musical drama film Sparkle.
Prior to Fame, Cara also had a starring role in the 1979 sequel to the classic Roots TV miniseries.
Though her fame peaked in the 1980s, Cara has continued to perform throughout the decades, appearing in films such as DC Cab, City Heat, and Downtown, A Street Tale.
Following the confirmation of Cara’s death, fans of the legendary singer took to social media to share their grief.
Twitter user Jimmy Pavolic said he’s loved Cara’s singing since watching Fame as a kid.
“So sad to hear the passing of Irene Cara, this song has stuck in my mind since I heard it when I was 12, my sincere condolences to his family, friends and fans. RIP Irene Cara.’
Journalist and Disney alumnus Steven McCoy wrote, “I first met Ms. Irene Cara many years ago, she was truly a beautiful, kind and spiritual woman. She even sent me a gift package to my house and still holds it in my heart. You will really be missed.’
Another Twitter user by the name of Cromwell called Cara the soundtrack of the 1980s.
‘That’s very sad. Irene was a writer, speaker and performer on many of the biggest songs and film tracks of the 80’s. There is a special place in my heart for #OutHereOnMyOwn by #Fame. Sleep well, lovely lady.’
Cara was popular for her performance singing the title track “Fame”. She is pictured alongside Lee Curreri, who played Bruno