Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
From the time she recorded her first solo album at the tender age of eight, it was obvious to all of those who surrounded and supported Irene Cara that she was bound for a fate well beyond that of most young singers. Taking the stages of Broadway by storm two short years later, Cara cemented her status of child prodigy by boldly performing with such musical legends as Stevie Wonder, Sammy Davis Jr., and Roberta Flack -- and by confidently holding her own alongside the seasoned showbiz veterans.
Irene Cara was born to a Cuban mother and Puerto Rican father in New York City in 1964. The rising starlet undoubtedly showcased her wild ambitions when, after recording two albums (one in English and the other in Spanish) and making an unforgettable Broadway debut, she turned her attentions to acting with the 1975 interracial relationship drama Aaron Loves Angela. Though she had previously appeared in such television series as Love of Life and The Electric Company, Aaron Loves Angela provided the notable springboard toward more dramatic roles for Cara. The following year's rags-to-riches musical drama Sparkle utilized both Cara's skills as an actress and a dramatist, though it wasn't until after supporting roles in Roots: The Next Generations and Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones that Cara would truly realize her potential.