British exhibition dancing champion and veteran judge on the BBC's “Strictly Come Dancing” and its American counterpart, “Dancing With the Stars,” Len Goodman, passed away on Saturday at a hospice in Kent. He was 78.
Jackie Gill, Goodman's agent, said in a statement, “It is with great sadness that I announce that Len Goodman has passed away peacefully, at the age of 78.” A beloved family man who will be greatly missed by his wife, children, grandchildren, and friends.
When Dancing with the Stars first premiered in 2005, the former professional dancer and dance teacher was one of the original judges. After 20 seasons on the show, he stepped away for Season 21 before coming back for Seasons 22 through 28. In 2022, he made his exit from the position official.
Goodman's reputation as a judge with a sharp eye for excellent ballroom technique and a penchant for (often brutally) honest criticism of entrants' performances grew over the years. His “10” paddles were always met with the memorable introduction, “From Len, a 10!” despite his reputation as a severe scorer.
Leonard Goodman Death Cause
Bone cancer was the cause of Len Goodman's death. The dancer had unfortunately been exposed to the illness before. In March of 2009, he was also given the diagnosis of prostate cancer, and in 2020, he had surgery to remove a tiny melanoma on his face.
Primary bone cancer is an extremely unusual form of the disease. The NHS estimates that annually there are approximately 550 new cases diagnosed in the UK. Any bone, but especially those of the arms and legs, may be affected.
Fans & Friends Paid Tribute to Leonard Goodman
He was warm and caring, and always delivered genuine guidance. We are devastated by the news of his passing and our hearts are with his family during this very difficult time.”
“[Heartbroken] my dear friend and partner for 19 years the one and only ballroom LEGEND #LenGoodman passed away,” tweeted Bruno Tonioli.
Carrie Ann Inaba, who has also judged DWTS since its debut, posted a video montage of fond memories with Goodman on Instagram, calling him a “special soul” and “treasured friend.”
“Saying goodbye at the end of last season broke my heart,” Inaba wrote. “But today’s news has shattered it all over again. I can’t believe that you’re gone. You were one of a kind my dear friend. And I will cherish our memories and hold them close, while I join so many others in mourning your loss.”