Irene Cara, the Grammy- and Oscar-winning singer/songwriter/actor/performer who gave the world two of the most famous movie songs of all time and was one of my first celebrity crushes not that anybody asked, died unexpectedly on November 25, 2022, at the age of 63. Cara had been born into a working-class family in the Bronx; the combination of her musician father and movie usher mother may have been a clue as the path her life would follow, if not necessarily the stratospheric heights she’d eventually hit.
By the time Cara starred in Fame, playing Coco and singing the hit title song, she’d already performed on TV and Broadway. She never stopped working after that, though the next time she lit up the sky like a flame was when she cowrote and recorded the title song to the blockbuster movie Flashdance.
Here’s an introduction to an assortment of Cara’s works as an actor and musician, currently available on the Library’s shelves. You can also listen to her music on Freegal. It all comes together to form an inspiring lesson in taking your passion and making it happen.