Irene Cara was a renowned American singer, songwriter and actress. She was born on March 18, 1959 in the Bronx, New York City.
She grew up under the watchful eyes of her parents, Gaspar Cara and Louise Escalera. Her father was a factory worker and retired saxophonist while her mother was a movie theater usher.
Born in New York City
Cara was born on March 18, 1959 in New York City’s Bronx to Puerto Rican factory worker Gaspar Cara and Cuban-American movie theater usher Louise Escalera. Her parents were musically inclined and encouraged their daughter to pursue a career in the arts.
Her passion for performing began early, when she taught herself to play piano by ear and took dance lessons at the age of five. She also competed in the Little Miss America pageant, and later landed her first TV appearances on The Original Amateur Hour and Johnny Carson’s The Tonight Show, where she sang in Spanish.
She was a renowned American singer and songwriter, most famous for recording the title song to Fame (1980), which won an Academy Award for Best Original Song. She also appeared in several films, including the comedy-thriller City Heat, co-starring Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds, and teamed with Tatum O’Neal in Certain Fury.
In 1985, Cara sued her record label head, Al Coury, claiming that he had withheld royalties from her music. She won a $1.5 million judgment, but the label eventually went bankrupt and she never received her full royalties.
In her younger years, she worked as a child actress in television shows such as PBS’s The Electric Company and the classic cop show Kojak. She lent her voice to various children’s songs and albums, and also appeared in movies. Her most notable film role was as Coco Hernandez in the 1980 hit musical Fame, which catapulted her to stardom.
Married to Conrad Palmisano
American singer and actress Irene Cara married stuntman Conrad Palmisano in 1986. They divorced in 1991, and she never remarried.
Born in New York City, she started her career singing and dancing in Spanish-language television shows. She also starred in the 1980 film Fame. She won an Academy Award for her co-writing of the song “Flashdance…” What a Feeling.”
She married Hollywood stuntman Conrad Palmisano in 1984 on the set of the film A Certain Fury, where he was a stunt coordinator. The wedding was a small one, with 250 people attending. The ceremony was held in a park overlooking the Pacific Ocean, publicist Mitchell Schneider told reporters Monday.
He had a successful career as a stuntman and director, directing films like Assassins (1995) with Sylvester Stallone and Rush Hour 2 (2001), After the Sunset (2004) with Pierce Brosnan and Salma Hayek, and The Other Guys (2010) with Will Ferrell. He is a former president of the Stuntmen’s Association for four seasons.
He has an estimated net worth of $1 million to $3 million dollars. He has made such an amount of money from his primary career as a Director. He has been married twice to Irene Cara for five years, and Kathryn Anderson for 19 years.
Died in Los Angeles
Born in the Bronx, New York to a Puerto Rican father and Cuban mother, Irene Cara Escalera was a Little Miss America finalist at the age of three, took dance lessons at five and started learning to play piano by ear. Her parents both had a strong musical background, and she began singing and dancing professionally on Spanish-language television.
She appeared in many stage and TV productions throughout her life, including a starring role in the cult classic film Fame as student Coco Hernandez, who sang the Oscar and Golden Globe-winning title song. She also earned roles in Sister, Sister, For Us the Living: The Medgar Evers Story and Killing ’em Softly among others.
In 1983, she co-wrote and sang the No. 1 smash hit “Flashdance – What a Feeling,” which won her the Academy Award, Grammy and Golden Globe awards. She also starred in the animated film Happily Ever After and made several appearances on PBS children’s television shows, including playing keyboards with her band, The Short Circus, on educational kids show The Electric Company.
She was married to stuntman Conrad Palmisano between 1986 and 1991 but divorced him in 1993. She was last seen in a supporting role in the 1987 film Busted Up, which featured a skilled fighter trying to save his inner-city gym from real-estate developers.
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