Academy Award-winning Flashdance…What a Feeling singer Irene Cara died as a result of hypertension and high cholesterol, TMZ reports.
The acclaimed entertainer was found dead inside her Florida home on November 25, 2022, aged just 63 – with her passing confirmed by her publicist, Judith Moose.
Irene’s official cause of death is Arteriosclerotic and Hypertensive Cardiovascular Disease, and it was noted the late star was diabetic in documents from the medical examiner in Pinellas County and obtained by TMZ.
‘It is with profound sadness that on behalf of her family I announce the passing of Irene Cara,’ Moose said in a statement. ‘Her cause of death is currently unknown and will be released when the information is available.’
The post came just after a death hoax about Cara, who starred in Fame and sang its theme, with many fans fearing the latest announcement may be part of another lie.
Tragedy: Academy Award-winning Flashdance…What a Feeling singer Irene Cara died as a result of hypertension and high cholesterol, TMZ reports (pictured 2007)
‘Sorry if this is true but I’m afraid after the hoax it’s difficult to believe,’ Twitter user Rachael L wrote in response to Moose. ‘On Friday (November 25) the actress’ reps officially confirmed that Irene Cara is not dead.
‘She joins the long list of celebrities who have been victimized by this hoax,’ the previous announcement said.
Moose, however, confirmed that Saturday’s announcement was real, adding that ‘We’re all in shock.’
Born in the Bronx as Irene Escalera, Cara had humble roots – her mom Louise was a cashier, while her father Gaspar was a steel worker and musician.
Cara inherited her father’s talent, becoming a trained singer, actor and dancer who made many on stage and television appearances as a child, including on PBS and Johnny Carson’s The Tonight Show.
The performer then rocketed 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 Vocal Artist.
Cara went on to win a Grammy and an Oscar in 1984 with the title track to Flashdance, which starred Jennifer Beals.
Cara was beloved for her 1980 role as Coco Hernandez in the hit musical film Fame (pictured)
Many fans were in shock and did not immediately believe the news of Cara’s passing following the hoax
Pictured: Cara (far left) posing beside her fellow Fame actors in 1980. Her rendition of the theme song remains one of the most memorable tunes from a decade packed with classics
Pictured: Cara holding her Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Performance by a female singer. She released some of the early 80s’ most-memorable hits
She fell out of the spotlight after suing her former record company during the 1990s over her earnings. That saw Cara awarded $1.5 million by a California jury in 1993. But she was shunned by the music industry as a result, and her career suffered.
When confirming Cara’s death, Moose wrote: ‘She was a beautifully gifted soul whose legacy will live forever through her music and films.’
The publicist also expressed sympathy for the performer’s fans over the recent death hoax.
‘None of us were ever contacted regarding the hoax on a Facebook page. I completely understand it being difficult to believe. We’re all in shock.
The youngest of five children, Cara made her debut on stage at the young age of three, earning a spot as a finalist for the Little Miss America Pageant in 1962.
The daughter of a Puerto Rican and Cuban-American, Cara did a stint of appearances on Spanish-language TV shows before becoming a regular on PBS’s educational program, The Electric Company.
Along with her television work, Cara performed on a slew of off-Broadway productions, and her first big role came as the titular Sparkle Williams in the 1976 musical drama film, Sparkle.
Prior to Fame, Cara also had a starring role in the 1979 sequel to the classic Roots TV miniseries.
Although her stardom peaked in the 1980s, Cara continued to perform throughout the decades, appearing in films such as D.C. Cab, City Heat and Downtown, A Street Tale.
Following confirmation of Cara’s death, fans of the iconic singer flooded social media to share their grief.
Twitter user Jimmy Pavolic said he’s loved Cara’s singing since watching Fame as a child.
‘So sad to hear the passing of Irene Cara, this song ever since I heard it as a 12-year-old has stuck with me, my sincerest condolences to his family, friends & fans. R.I.P 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 home and still hold dear to my heart. You will be truly missed.’
Another Twitter user with the handle Cromwell described Cara as the soundtrack of the 1980s.
‘This is very sad. Irene was writer, voice and performer of many of the greatest songs and film tracks of the 80’s. There’s a special place in my heart for #OutHereOnMyOwn from #Fame. Sleep well, lovely lady.’
Cara was beloved for her performance singing the titular track Fame. She is pictured alongside Lee Curreri, who played Bruno