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Oscar Winner Irene Cara...

Source: Bob Riha Jr / Getty


The cause of death for actress and Flashdance singer Irene Cara has been been revealed. According to TMZ, the 63-year-old star died of hypertension and high cholesterol. Her official cause of death was listed as arteriosclerotic and hypertensive cardiovascular disease.

Cara, known for her stellar role in the 1980 musical Fame, was also a diabetic, the Pinellas County Medical Examiner noted.

In November 2022, the Oscar and Grammy-award-winning singer died at her home in Florida. Her publicist, Judith A. Moose, was the first to confirm the tragic news.

“It is with profound sadness that on behalf of her family I announce the passing of Irene Cara,” she said in a statement. “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,” Moose added. “She was a beautifully gifted soul whose legacy will live forever through her music and films.”


The Life of Irene Cara

Cara captivated audiences in the 1980 musical Fame with her stunning portrayal of Coco Hernandez. The famous film chronicles the lives of several teenagers who attend a New York high school for students gifted in the performing arts. In 1981, the late actress scored two Grammys for her iconic recording of the film’s title song “Fame,” which reached number one in several countries.

Three years later, she co-wrote and sang the No. 1 smash hit “Flashdance… What a Feeling” for the 1983 blockbuster of the same name, starring Jennifer Beals and Michael Nouri. In 1984, the inimitable star scored two more Grammys for the hit song and an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

She released her final album, Irene Cara Presents Hot Caramel, in 2011.

Last year, actress and award-winning choreographer Debbie Allen said it was “difficult” to talk about Cara’s passing due to their close friendship. Allen starred opposite of Cara in Fame as the passionate dance instructor Lydia Grant.

“I’ve known her since she was 12 in New York,” Allen said. “She played Carnegie Hall when she was like 13. She’s a genius talent her whole life.”

While reflecting on Cara’s iconic legacy, Allen said she felt as though the star had only reached the surface of her career.


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