Irene Cara

  • Birth Name: Irene Cara Escalera
  • Birth Place: Bronx, New York, United States
  • Profession: Actor, Singer, Songwriter
Where to Watch

Available to Stream

  • Watch on

Fast Facts

  • Started her career as a child, performing on Spanish television with her father's mambo band.
  • Was a regular on The Electric Company as a kid. 
  • Made her Broadway debut playing an orphan in the musical Maggie Flynn (1968).
  • In her teens, she worked as a background vocalist for famous recording artists.
  • Like her character Coco on Fame (1980), she got into New York's High School of Performing Arts as a singer, dancer and actor. However, she dropped out of the school to become a working actor.
  • Performed two nominated songs from Fame during the 1981 Academy Awards telecast.
  • Formed the all-female band Hot Caramel, with whom she performs (she's also the production manager of the band). In 2011, they released the album Irene Cara Presents Hot Caramel.


  • 1981, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 1983, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Song): Winner
  • 1984, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Theme/Song from a Motion Picture: Winner
  • 1984, Golden Globe — Best Original Song - Motion Picture: Winner
  • 1984, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Original Song Written for a Film: Nominee
  • 1983, Grammy — Best Pop Vocal Performance - Female: Winner
  • 1983, Grammy — Best Album Of Original Score Written For A Motion Picture Or A Television Special: Winner


  • Louise B. Escalera — Mother
  • Conrad E. Palmisano — Ex-husband
  • Antoinette Greer — Sister
  • Gaspar Cara — Father

Your new favorite show is right here. Trust us.

Coming Soon

Because it's never too early to plan Thursday night... two months from now.

My News

Sign up and add shows to get the latest updates about your favorites shows - Start Now