‘Fame’ and ‘Flashdance’ singer-actor Irene Cara dies at 63
Irene Cara, the “Fame” and “Flashdance” singer-actor who was in the original cast of “Grease” – which became the first movie to gross more than $500 million – died Monday of complications stemming from a long battle with breast cancer.
“It is with a heavy heart that I announce the death of my mother, Irene Cara,” Cara’s daughter told The Associated Press. “I am so proud of her. She gave everything to her art. She is a woman who brought light to the world. I will miss her greatly and continue to be in her thoughts and prayers.”
Born in Long Island, N.Y., Cara rose to fame for starring in the “Grease” movie franchise, after a role as “Gloria” in the original film “Grease” in 1981. She went on to go on to a long career after the “Grease” films, performing in dozens of stage shows, TV specials and movies, which included the Broadway hits “Frozen” and “Kinky Boots.”
“Fame” was released in 1984 and she played “Blanche Devereaux” in the film. The follow-up was “Flashdance” in 1990, with a soundtrack featuring Cara singing “Sara Smile” from the musical ” Grease” and “Who Can I Turn To Now” from the movie ” Grease. She continued to perform in “Grease” until 1994, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was one of the most prolific voice artists of the rock era, with nearly 100 albums including 10 of her own.
In 2003, she became the first singer to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine’s ‘Celeb 100’, a list of the most influential of all time, and she also appeared on CNN’s ‘Celeb’