Len Goodman has died. The veteran “Dancing With the Stars” judge died following a short illness on April 22, 2023, at a hospice in Kent, England with his family surrounding him, People reported. Goodman was 78 years old.
Goodman appeared as the head judge on “Dancing With the Stars” from 2005 to 2022. He was also a longtime judge on the BBC’s “Strictly Come Dancing” from 2004 until 2016.
Goodman had been suffering from multiple health problems in the years before his death. According to Yahoo Entertainment, he was diagnosed with skin cancer in 2020 and had bone cancer. Goodman had previously been treated for prostate cancer in 2009, the outlet reported.
Heavy has reached out to Goodman’s rep for comment on his cause of death.
Goodman is survived by his wife, Sue, his son, James, and two grandchildren, per Heart UK.
Here’s what you need to know:
Fans & Celebrity Friends Reacted to the News of Len Goodman’s Death
Following the announcement of Goodman’s death, fans and celebrity friends took to social media to pay tribute to him.
Bruno Tonioli was the first of Goodman’s DWTS colleagues to react to the news. He captioned a photo of him and Goodman on Instagram with, “Heartbroken my dear friend and partner for 19 years the one and only ballroom legend #lengoodman passed away. I will treasure the memory of our incredible adventures and hundreds of shows we did together @bbcstrictly @dancingwithtrhestars they will never be anyone like you.”
BBC Director-General Tim Davie said in a statement, “Len Goodman was a wonderful, warm entertainer who was adored by millions. He appealed to all ages and felt like a member of everyone’s family. Len was at the very heart of ‘Strictly’s’ success. He will be hugely missed by the public and his many friends and family.”
Choreographer Craig Revel Horwood wrote, “I’ve just woken up to the sad news that my gorgeous colleague and dear friend Len Goodman has passed away. My heart and love go out to his lovely Sue and family. Len Goody Goodman is what I always called him and ‘It’s a ten from Len & seveeeeern’ will live with me forever. RIP Len.”
British television host Piers Morgan posted a photo of him and Goodman to Twitter and wrote, “RIP Len Goodman, 78 – welder, dancer, judge, and devoted cricket & West Ham fan. Always had a laugh with Len, and swapped a few strong opinions. A quintessential Londoner and a top bloke.”
Len Goodman Had Announced His Retirement From DWTS in November 2022
Goodman started his career as a professional dancer and teacher and specialized in “Exhibition” dancing, per his Disney+ bio. He won the British Exhibition four times as well as many other prestigious awards. The beloved dancer also ran the Goodman Dance Academy, in his hometown of Kent, England.
Goodman was a judge for the first 20 seasons of DWTS alongside Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli. He took a one-season break and then returned for six more seasons, before stepping back in season 29. Goodman returned the following year and was part of the show when it moved to Disney+ in 2022.
In November 2022, Goodman announced he would exit “Dancing With the Stars” for good.
“Doing a live show you have to be at the top of your game and quick to react. And as one gets older, then things start to get more challenging,” he told People at the time. “I will miss the California sunshine, working with my fellow judges, and the camaraderie with everyone on the show. “I’ll miss seeing the celebrities developing into dancers and I will miss being part of one of the most successful shows on TV.”