Set in New York City's High School of the Performing Arts, the 1980 musical drama that followed a group of aspiring singers, dancers and actors featured a cast of unknowns and a rousing soundtrack. And oh, those dance numbers!

The film earned a modest $21.2 million at the box office but nabbed six Academy Award nominations (and won two, for original score and original song), spawned a popular TV show of the same name and inspired countless other musical films featuring singing and dancing teens -- including 2009's remake of 'Fame,' which arrives in theaters Sept. 25. But before then, we take a look back at the original cast. See if you remember their names (remember! remember! remember!).
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'Fame' Cast: Where Are They Now?
Set in New York City's High School of the Performing Arts, the 1980 musical drama that followed a group of aspiring singers, dancers and actors featured a cast of unknowns and a rousing soundtrack. And oh, those dance numbers!
MGM / ZUMA Press

Fame' Cast: Where Are They Now?

    Set in New York City's High School of the Performing Arts, the 1980 musical drama that followed a group of aspiring singers, dancers and actors featured a cast of unknowns and a rousing soundtrack. And oh, those dance numbers!

    The film earned a modest $21.2 million at the box office but nabbed six Academy Award nominations (and won two, for original score and original song), spawned a popular TV show of the same name and inspired countless other musical films featuring singing and dancing teens -- including 2009's remake of 'Fame,' which arrives in theaters Sept. 25. But before then, we take a look back at the original cast. See if you remember their names (remember! remember! remember!).-- By Aimee Deeken

    MGM / ZUMA Press

    Irene Cara

    Played: Coco Hernandez

    Then: Cara had parts on 'The Electric Company' and 'Roots: The Next Generation' before she was cast as Coco. The role of ambitious singer-actress was tailored for Cara, and she emerged as one of the film's breakout stars, nabbing a Golden Globe nom for best actress. The movie also launched her music career: She sang both of the film's Oscar-nominated songs at the Academy Awards, and her vocals on the soundtrack earned her Grammy noms for Best New Artist and Pop Female Vocalist.

    CinemaPhoto / Corbis

    Irene Cara

    Now: Cara found even more success with the theme song to 1983's 'Flashdance,' which earned her an Oscar, two Grammys and a Golden Globe. Cara appeared in movies like 'D.C. Cab' and 'City Heat' but soon found herself embroiled in a nearly decade-long lawsuit against her old record company over royalties. A California jury awarded her $1.5 million in '93, but the bitter experience left Cara publicity shy. She's now living in Florida and has returned to music, recording and touring with her all-female group, Hot Caramel.

    Todd Williamson, WireImage

    Gene Anthony Ray

    Played: Leroy Johnson

    Then: The Harlem-born Ray fit the part of hotheaded and hot-footed Leroy to a tee: Just like his character, Ray had no formal dance training but plenty of raw talent. He also attended the High School of the Performing Arts (though he was kicked out after a year). And in a Leroy-like move, Ray ditched school to attend the 'Fame' auditions. With his powerhouse dance moves and heaps of natural charisma, Roseland's Best Male Disco Dancer Award winner of 1977 quickly cemented his status as a 'Fame' fan favorite.

    Now: While he later appeared in feature films such as Debbie Allen's 'Out-of-Sync' and 'Eddie' with Whoopi Goldberg, Ray's star never shone so bright as when he was playing Leroy. He reprised his role on the NBC television series and in syndication, and toured in a series of 'Fame'-inspired concerts. His last project was a BBC documentary in Los Angeles, a reunion of the cast, called 'Fame: Remember My Name.' Ray, who was HIV positive, died of complications of a stroke in 2003.

    Ron Galella, WireImage

    Laura Dean

    Played: Lisa

    Then: The Long Island native was a stage veteran by the time she hit her teens, having performed in touring companies of 'The Sound of Music,' 'Bye Bye Birdie' and 'Gypsy,' and singing alongside the New York Opera in everything from 'Carmen' to 'La Boheme' before being cast as chatty, unfocused dance student Lisa Monroe.

    Now: Dean's 'Fame' role led to guest spots on television ('Kate and Allie'), a recurring role on 'Friends,' and some voiceover work. More recently, she was an uncredited singer on the soundtrack to 2002's film version of 'Chicago.'

    MGM / ZUMA Press

    Lee Curreri

    Played: Bruno

    Then: New York native Curreri attended the Manhattan School of Music and Mannes College of Music, and was arranging music and playing with NYC's Public Theater when -- on the recommendation of a former high school teacher -- Alan Parker cast him as keyboard prodigy Bruno.

    MGM / Everett Collection

    Lee Curreri

    Now: Curreri reprised his role as Bruno in the television series, where he also penned music and composed arrangements for the show. Later, the keyboardist and composer turned to music full time, producing for the likes of Natalie Cole and Kid Creole and the Coconuts, and composing scores to television series such as 'Chicago Hope' and 'Dangerous Minds.' He also released a full-length CD of his own music, 'Aquabox.' He currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two sons.

    ZUMA Press

    Maureen Teefy

    Played: Doris Finsecker

    Then: The Julliard-educated Teefy had acted in features such as Steven Spielberg's '1941' before landing the part of shy Doris. Over the course of four years, the drama student blossoms out from under the oppressive rule of her stifling mom.

    Now: After appearing in 'Grease 2' and 'Supergirl,' Teefy largely bypassed a life on screen in favor of smaller stage roles in local theaters in and around her home in Southern California. She has written two plays, and will have her directorial debut in a Venice, Calif., production of 'Hedda Gabler' in November.

    MGM / Everett Collection

    Paul McCrane

    Played: Montgomery MacNeil

    Then: Born and raised in Philadelphia, McCrane had done some stage acting in New York and had a bit part in 'Rocky II' before landing the plum role of sensitive gay drama student Montgomery MacNeil. The redheaded actor, who had also studied guitar, strummed a song he wrote -- called 'Is It Okay If I Call You Mine?' -- as part of his audition. Director Alan Parker liked it so much he decided to include it in the film.

    MGM / Everett Collection

    Paul McCrane

    Now: 'Fame' was McCrane's big break, and the versatile performer has been racking up acting credits ever since. He had roles in movies like 'RoboCop' and 'The Shawshank Redemption' and appeared in TV programs like 'The X-Files' and 'From the Earth to the Moon.' More recently, he was Jack Bauer's deceitful brother on '24.' And while he might not have the big hair any longer, these days, McCrane is probably best recognized for his role as the sadistic Dr. Robert "Rocket" Romano on the NBC long-running hit show 'ER.'

    Mike Guastella, WireImage

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