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Irene Cara, Best-Known For Smash Hits ‘Fame’ and ‘Flashdance… What A Feeling’, Dead at 63

Photo: AP

Oscar and Grammy winner, Irene Cara has passed away.  The singer/songwriter/actress, known for her memorable vocal performances to the theme of the hit movie, Fame, and singing the title track to another 80’s blockbuster, Flashdance, apparently died in her Florida home yesterday. The cause of death is not yet known.

According to her publicist, Judith Moore on Twitter, the rep shared: “This is the absolute worst part of being a publicist. I can’t believe I’ve had to write this, let alone release the news.  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.  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.”

A little known fact is that Irene’s first acting gig was on the daytime drama, Love of Life from 1970-1971 in the role of Daisy Allen.   She later appeared in TV roles on: What’s Happening, Kojak, Roots: The Next Generations, and in the film, Sparkle and many more.

Later, Cara first rose to prominence when she was cast in the 1980’s musical film Fame, where she sang the title track and starred in as Coco Hernandez.  Her vocal performance in Fame earned her two Grammy Award nominations for Best New Artist and Best Pop Vocal Performance Female in 1981.

Two years later, Cara not only picked up two Grammy Awards for her performance, but also an Oscar for  co-writing, “Flashdance… What a Feeling” from another 80’s pop culture smash, Flashdance.  At the Grammys in 1984, Irene won for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female, and Best Album of an Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or a Television Special.  She took home the Oscar for Best Original Song at the Academy Awards in 1983.

Cara’s rep added, that at the time of Irene’s death they were working on new projects: “Working on amazing projects that would have made her  and her fans incredibly happy. Her manager and I will finish them. She’d want that.”

Share your thoughts and remembrances on the passing of Irene Cara via the comment section below.

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Such a lovely lady. Loved her voice. So talented. Prayers for her loved ones and may she rest in peace.

So sad to hear this, she was sooo talented and beautiful, and her song and singing voice too. RIP Irene.

So sad, such a wonderful performer.
She was in a few Broadway musicals as a child.
I saw her in The Me Nobody Knows in 1970 or 71. A powerful singer and she must of been about 11. She can be heard on the original cast recording of that show.

Ms. Irene Cara’s death was a shock to me. My deepest condolences to her family. She was an inspiration and an excellent role model for the most talented young women who inspire to be an actress, singers, and dancers. She will be truly missed. Her legacy of hope will live on in most young women.
Rest in Paradise, Irene Cara. You are now performing with the rest of God’s Angels.

RIP – Rest in Paradise !!

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‘The Talk’ Renewed For 15th and Final Season to End in December; Does Its Cancellation Make Room for ‘The Gates’?

Things just got very interesting over at CBS daytime with the announcement today that The Talk is going to end its run on the network after its 15th season, and that season looks to be shortened as the series will come to its conclusion in December of 2024.

In a joint statement, Amy Reisenbach, President, CBS Entertainment and David Stapf, President, CBS Studio, shared, “The Talk broke new ground when it launched 14 years ago by returning daytime talk to CBS with a refreshing and award-winning format. Throughout the years, it has been a key program on CBS’ top rated daytime line-up as it brought timely, important and entertaining topics and discussions into living rooms around the globe.”

Reisenback and Stapf added, “It goes without saying that hosting and producing a year-round talk show is no easy task, and we express our sincere gratitude to our amazing hosts Akbar Gbajabiamila, Amanda Kloots, Natalie Morales, Jerry O’Connell and Sheryl Underwood, our Executive Producer/Showrunner Rob Crabbe and the hardworking producing team and crew.

Photo: CBS

Giving props to those who co-hosted or worked on the show through the years including: Sara Gilbert, Julie Chen Moonves, Carrie Ann Inaba Leah Ramimi, Marissa Janet Winokur, Holly Robinson Peete, Eve, Aisha Tyler, and Sharon Osbourne, the joint statement added, “We also want to acknowledge our former show hosts and colleagues who contributed throughout the seasons. We truly appreciate the skill, creativity, and dedication everyone involved brought to the show every day.  And of course, we thank the numerous guests who appeared, and the millions of viewers who tuned in daily. For the final season, we plan to celebrate the show and give it the proper sendoff it deserves when it concludes in December 2024.”

While no firm decision or announcement has been given at this time, it seems most likely that The Talk’s time slot could be given to the new soap opera in development The Gates from CBS Studio Ventures and from longtime soap opera writer. Michele Val Jean.  As previously reported, The Gates features the lives of a wealthy Black family who reside in a posh, gated community.

Photo: JPI

The Talk was originally the brainchild of Sara Gilbert, who had developed the show when it launched back 2010 and it replaced the beloved As the World Turns which went off the air after 54 years when CBS canceled it.

So, what do you think of The Talk being canceled? Will this make room for The Gates to begin to air in its spot beginning in 2025? Share your reactions to the news via the comment section.

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O. J. Simpson Dead at 76: Real-Life Murder Trial in Which He Was Acquitted, Changed the Trajectory of Soap Operas

Former Pro Football superstar, O. J. Simpson, who became infamous for being on trial for the murders of his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman, has passed away at the age of 76 of cancer.

Simpson’s family put out a statement sharing, “Our father, Orenthal James Simpson, succumbed to his battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his children and grandchildren. During this time of transition, his family asks that you please respect their wishes for privacy and grace.”

It was the murder trial that overtook the airwaves back in late 1994 and through most of 1995 that changed the landscape of daytime television forever, and in particular soap operas that many will recall.

Photo: AP

On June 12, 1994, Nicole Simpson, O.J.’s former wife, and her friend, Ron Goldman, were brutally murdered. When O.J. became the prime suspect, a wild pursuant of him by the police while in his white Ford Bronco was viewed on every network by some 95 million viewers. This June marks 30-years since the incident.

Ultimately, Simpson was charged with Brown Simpson and Goldman’s murders, though he was acquitted in what was dubbed The Trial of the Century.

The trial permeated the airwaves of every network and any time of day. Networks consistently interrupted soap operas while covering the day in and day out of the spectacle that was this star athlete and TV and film star’s trial.

With many of the soaps pre-empted on a regular basis, the public fascination of Simpson’s trial was to many better than a soap opera as it has all the ingredients. Writer Dominic Dunne noted the themes via an article in Vanity Fair of “interracial marriage, love, lust, lies, hate, fame, wealth, beauty, obsession, spousal abuse, stalking, brokenhearted children, the bloodiest of bloody knife-slashing homicides, and all the justice that money can buy.”

Because of the trial, soap operas lost a significant amount of their audiences. The murder trial went on for 11 months from November 9, 1994, to October 3, 1995.  They never were able to fully rebound as reality television became the next big thing.

O.J. Simpson is survived by four children: Arnelle and Jason, from his first marriage, and Sydney and Justin, from his marriage to Nicole Brown Simpson.

So, do you remember being frustrated that your favorite soaps could not air during the O.J. trial, or did you find the murder trial more intriuing than the soaps themselves? Comment below.

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‘Melrose Place’ Reboot in the Works with Heather Locklear, Daphne Zuniga and Laura Leighton

Looks like some of former residents of Melrose Place will be getting back together in a revival of the popular Fox primetime soap opera of the 90s.

Now comes word that original series stars, Heather Locklear, Daphne Zuniga and Laura Leighton are set to reprise their signature roles of Amanda Woodward, Jo Reynolds, and Sydney Andrews.

The project is currently being shopped and looking for a TV or streaming home and coming from CBS Studios. The new offering is written by Lauren Gussis, and in story, Melrose Place picks up years after the original series and would provide an update on the characters, one of whom may no longer be with us.

Photo: Fox

In the premise, former residents will reunite “when one of their dearest friends dies suddenly.” However, things don’t go smoothly when old traumas, the reigniting of old romances and old resentments, and new secrets are revealed. Thus, throwing our characters into chaotic drama that’s reminiscent of the past, but with a much more modern perspective.

The original Melrose Place debuted on Fox back in 1992 and aired for seven seasons till 1999, and followed the young residents of a Los Angeles apartment complex. Locklear’s Amanda was a ruthless advertising executive. Leighton played Jane’s sister Sydney and Zuniga played photographer Jo. The cast also included: Marcia Cross, Josie Bissett, Andrew Shue, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Grant Show, Thomas Calabro, Doug Savant, Rob Estes, Brooke Langton, Lisa Rinna, Kristin Davis and Alyssa Milano.

According to Deadline, more original cast member will sign on if the show gets the green light. This is not the first time a Melrose Place reboot has made its way to television.  The CW revived the series in 2009 with a new cast which lasted only one season. However, Locklear, Zuniga and Leighton all made guest appearances.

So, do you hope a Melrose Place reboot with several of its original cast makes its way back on network TV or a streaming platform? Comment below.

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