Irene Cara (full name Irene Cara Escalera) was born on March 18, 1962 in The Bronx, New York City. Her parents are Gaspar and Louise Escalera. Her father was a factory worker and saxophonist, while her mother was a cinema usher. She is of American and Cuban descent. She also has four older siblings. She had a passion to music since her early childhood and participated in the "Little Miss America" when she was just 3 years old. She even was one of five finalists of the competition. When she was five, Irene took dance lessons. Additionally, she began to play the piano by ear. She studied music hard and also was interested in acting.
Her career as a singer started on Spanish-language television, professionally singing and dancing. She has made her appearance on the Original Amateur Hour as well as at the Johnny Carson's The Tonight Show. In the 1971 she became a regular character in the TV series for kids “The Electric Company”. She was just 13 years old. She also played in on-and off-Broadway shows like “Ain't Misbehavin'”, “The Me Nobody Knows”, “Maggie Flynn”. In the 1976 she portrayed Sparkle Williams character in the movie “Sparkle”. During the middle 70s, she also appeared in “Aaron Loves Angela”, “Kojak” and “What's Happening!!”.
She has made her appearances in numerous movies and tv shows like “Sister, Sister”, “Happily Ever After”, “Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones”, “Certain Fury” and “Caged in Paradiso”. Additionally, she appeared with a stage work for such projects like “Maggie Flynn”, “Got Tu Go Disco” and “What a Feeling!: The Rock & Pop Musicals in Concert”. In the 1981 she launched her own sitcom “Irene”. During the 80s she was involved in such movies like “City Heat”, “Busted Up”, “D.C. Cab” and “For Us the Living: The Medgar Evers Story”. She also appeared as a voice actress for such project like “The Jungle King” and “Snow White and the Magic Mirror”.
Till date she released 5 studio albums. Her first comes through in the 1968 and was titled “Esta Es Irene”. Another one released only in the 1982 under the title “Anyone Can See”. In the next year she released “What a Feelin'”. Her music projects were pretty successful as well as her fourth album “Carasmatic”, which appeared in the 1987. Her last one was released in the 2011 with a title “Irene Cara presents: Hot Caramel”.
In the 1980 she got a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. She also was honored with a Golden Globe nomination for Best Motion Picture Actress in a Musical. S is so talented woman, even Billboard named her Top New Single Artist. She is married to a stuntman Conrad E. Palmisano. She met her future husband in the early 80s. They got married in the 1986 in Los Angeles. Five years later they decided to divorce. She has a 4 million dollars of net worth.