Best known for starring in and belting the title tracks from the 1980s movies Fame and Flashdance, has died.
Cara died at her home in Florida.
Her publicist Judith Moose, who announced the news on Cara's social media account on Saturday.
She said a cause of death was "currently unknown."
Broadway conductor and radio host Seth Rudetsky says watching Cara on screen as a kid helped shape his career ambitions.
"Irene Cara represented making it in the arts and gave us so much excitement and hope and enthusiasm to pursue the arts," he said.