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Fame stars Lee Curreri and Debbie Allen leads tributes to Irene Cara after her death

Metro logo Metro 11/26/2022 Sabrina Barr and Emily Bashforth
Irene Cara and Lee Curreri starred in Fame together as Coco Hernandez and Bruno Martelli (Picture: Sportsphoto Ltd/Allstar) © Provided by Metro Irene Cara and Lee Curreri starred in Fame together as Coco Hernandez and Bruno Martelli (Picture: Sportsphoto Ltd/Allstar)

Fame star Lee Curreri is among those paying tribute to his former co-star Irene Cara following her death aged 63.

In a statement shared on the official Twitter account for Cara, her publicist Judith Moose confirmed the Flashdance…What A Feeling singer had died, writing: ‘It is with profound sadness that on behalf of her family I announce the passing of Irene Cara.

‘The Academy Award-winning actress, singer, songwriter and producer passed away in her Florida home. Her cause of death is currently unknown and will be released when information is available.’

Tributes have come pouring in for the performer, who played the lead role of Coco Hernandez in the 1980 musical film Fame.

Curreri, who starred opposite her in the movie as Bruno Martelli, shared a black-and-white photo of her on Instagram, with a caption consisting of a sole red heart emoji.

The legacy of Fame lives on decades later (Picture: M.G.M / Avalon) © Provided by Metro The legacy of Fame lives on decades later (Picture: M.G.M / Avalon)

Several people expressed their condolences to Curreri, with one commenting: ‘Such sad news, such fond memories of this beautiful woman. Thoughts are with you and all that knew and loved her.’

‘I am so sorry for your loss Lee. So terribly sad,’ someone else said, while another wrote: ‘Ohhhh noooo 😢, my thoughts are with you, Lee. RIP, Irene.’

Meanwhile, Debbie Allen – who starred in the Fame film and spin-off TV series – said her heart is ‘broken’ after learning of the news.

She wrote on Instagram: ‘#IreneCara was such a gifted and beautiful genius. Her talent and her music will LIVE FOREVER! FOREVER REMEMBER HER NAME, #FAME! 😢’.

‘Thank you brilliant Irene for your open heart and your fearless triple threat talent. It took a beautiful dreamer to write and perform the soundtracks for those who dare to dream,’ she wrote.

Lenny Kravitz later shared a tweet alongside a picture of Cara, sharing how she inspired him.

‘Irene Cara, you inspired me more than you could ever know. Your songwriting and vocals created pure energy that will never cease. You also defined an era that is so close to my heart,’ he wrote.

‘Your portrayal of “Coco” in Alan Parker’s “Fame” is immortal and know that I was madly in love with her. Thank you Irene. You’re gonna live forever.’

The statement confirming Cara’s death read: ‘Irene’s family has requested privacy as they process their grief. She was a beautifully gifted soul whose legacy will live forever through her music and films.

‘Funeral services are pending and a memorial for her fans will be planned at a future date.’

Cara soared to global stardom when she appeared in Fame, with her role rewritten especially for her when it was discovered how multi-talented she was.

She won an Academy Award for Best Original Song for Flashdance… What a Feeling from the 1983 film Flashdance, and also received nods at the Grammys and the Golden Globes.

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