Cara was born into a working-class Puerto Rican and Cuban family in the Bronx neighborhood of New York City.

As a child actor, her credits included a regular stint on the 1970s children's show The Electric Company.

Fame co-star Laura Dean Koch remembered Cara as "a dynamo who could sing, dance, and act, the definition of a triple threat

Three years later, Cara accepted the Oscar for best original song for "Flashdance ... What a Feeling," along with the songwriting team of Flashdance (1983)

Cara influenced a future generation of artists. Broadway conductor and radio host Seth Rudetsky says watching Cara on screen as a kid helped shape his career ambitions.

"Irene Cara represented making it in the arts and gave us so much excitement and hope and enthusiasm to pursue the arts,

Irene Cara, the singer-actress best known for starring in and belting the title tracks from the 1980s movies Fame and Flashdance, has died. She was 63.


Cara died at her home in Florida, said her publicist, Judith Moose, who announced the news on Cara's social media account on Saturday