Irene Cara Escalara (born March 18, 1959) is an American singer-songwriter, actress and dancer. She co-wrote the song "Flashdance... What a Feeling" from the movie Flashdance. She won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for the song. For that same song, she also won a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
Cara played Coco Hernandez in the 1980 movie Fame. Before that, she played Sparkle Williams in the 1976 musical-drama movie Sparkle.
In 1982 Cara earned an Image Award for Best Actress when she co-starred in NBC's Movie of the Week, Sister, Sister.