The dancing and television world are mourning after the shocking loss of Dancing With The Stars and Strictly Come Dancing judge Len Goodman. News broke in the early mourning of April 24th that the 78-year-old died on Saturday, April 22, at a hospice in Kent, England, surrounded by his family, according to the BBC. He had reportedly battled bone cancer since 2021. A statement obtained by HollywoodLife.com read, “It is with great sadness to announce that Len Goodman has passed away peacefully, aged 78. A much loved husband, father and grandfather who will be sorely missed by family, friends and all who knew him.” He is survived by his wife Sue Barrett and son James Goodman.
Len Goodman was born in London in 1944 and worked as a professional dancer before breaking into the TV industry. The longtime dance TV judge announced he was retiring from his post on Dancing With The Stars in the midst of season 31 in the fall of 2022. “I’ve been with the show since it started in 2005 and it has been a huge pleasure to be a part of such a wonderful show, but I’ve decided I’d like to spend more time with my grandchildren and family back in Britain,” he said, with the audience, the cast and his fellow judges — Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli and Derek Hough — giving him a standing ovation.
He continued, “I cannot thank you enough, the Dancing with the Stars family. It’s been such a wonderful experience for me.” Len was also a popular, longtime judge on the BBC series Strictly Come Dancing from 2004 to 2016, before solely focusing on DWTS. At the time of his retirement announcement, host Tyra Banks called him a ‘living legend’ and praised, “You’ve inspired generations of dancers around the entire globe through your passion, through your expertise and through your laser-focused eye, And they are going to carry on that commitment to excellence forever.”
Len judged DWTS beginning in its very first season back in 2005. He skipped judging season 21, and was not present for season 29, either, due to COVID-19. In addition to judging Dancing With the Stars, Len was also a judge on the UK’s Strictly Come Dancing, often flying back and forth between England and the U.S. to juggle both jobs. He left the show in 2016 after 12 years.