irene cara net worth

Irene Cara Net Worth: From “Flashdance… What a Feeling” to “Fame”

Oliwia Urban 

Irene Cara was a talented American actress and singer who left a lasting impression on the entertainment industry. Her net worth at the time of her death in November 2022 was estimated to be $2 million. Cara was a multi-award-winning artist who gained recognition for her performance and co-writing of the song “Flashdance… What a Feeling” which won her an Academy Award, Golden Globe, and a Grammy. In this article, we will take a closer look at Irene Cara’s life, career, and her notable achievements.

Early Life

Irene Cara Escalera was born on March 18, 1959, in The Bronx, New York City. Her mother was of Cuban-American descent, and her father was Puerto Rican. Cara’s parents worked hard to provide for their five children, and her father was a retired saxophonist who worked in a factory while her mother was a movie usher. Cara began her performing arts journey at a young age and was a finalist in the Little Miss America pageant when she was three years old.


During her childhood, Irene Cara learned to play the piano by ear, sang and danced on Spanish-language television, and recorded an English-language Christmas album and a Spanish-language album. As a teenager, she attended Manhattan’s Professional Children’s School to perfect her craft in acting, music, and dance.

Cara’s career took off when she made her onscreen acting debut as Daisy Allen in the CBS soap opera “Love of Life” in 1970. She appeared in various films, TV shows, miniseries, musical productions, and even lent her voice to animated films. Her breakthrough role came in 1980 when she starred as Coco Hernandez in the musical drama film “Fame.” The film’s theme song, which she performed, topped charts worldwide and earned her a Grammy nomination.

In 1983, Cara gained popularity for her performance and co-writing of the song “Flashdance… What a Feeling” which appeared in the film “Flashdance.” The song earned her an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and a Grammy award. She released three studio albums during her career – “Anyone Can See” (1982), “What a Feelin'” (1983), and “Carasmatic” (1987), and a fourth album, “Irene Cara Presents Hot Caramel,” in 2011.

Personal Life

Irene Cara was married to actor/film director/stuntman Conrad Palmisano from 1986 to 1991. They met while working together on the set of the film “Busted Up.” Conrad directed the sci-fi Western film “Space Rage,” in which Cara had a supporting role.

irene cara

Awards and Nominations

Irene Cara was a multi-award-winning artist whose talent was recognized through various accolades. She won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and a Grammy for “Flashdance… What a Feeling” and also received nominations for Best New Artist and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female for “Fame.” Additionally, “Flashdance… What a Feeling” won a National Music Publisher’s Association Award for Best Song in a Movie and received a BAFTA Award nomination for Best Original Song. Cara was also honored with an NAACP Image Award for Best Actress in a TV Movie, Miniseries or Drama Special for “Sister, Sister.”


On November 25, 2022, Irene Cara passed away at the age of 63 at her home in Florida. Her death was a great loss to the entertainment industry, but her impact in the industry can never be forgotten.


Irene Cara was an incredibly talented artist who left an indelible mark in the entertainment industry. From her appearance on Spanish-language television to her unforgettable roles in films, her talent and impact are greatly cherished. Cara was a multi-award-winning artist who won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and a Grammy for her remarkable performance and co-writing of the song “Flashdance… What a Feeling.” Although she is gone, her music and films will continue to inspire generations to come.