Len Goodman, the ex-head judge of the popular TV show “Dancing with the Stars,” has died at 78 years old following a struggle with bone cancer. Jackie Gill, Goodman’s manager, confirmed the unfortunate news through an official statement to BBC News. Goodman died on Saturday at a hospital in Kent, England, where he received medical care. His loving family was with him when he passed, despite his health struggles.
The former dancer and popular dance expert had been a most loved figure in the dance industry for almost decades. Goodman is known as ‘Mr. Charismatic’ because of the charming personality he carries with him. Apart from personality, his knowledge of dancing is beyond comparison.
Especially if we talk about Ballroom dancing, this is something that Goodman has mastered in this particular dance form. Because of such extensive knowledge, he served as a judge for a record 20 seasons on one of the most famous American dancing shows, “Dancing with Stars.”
Gill shared a statement with BBC News to announce the passing of her beloved husband, father, and grandfather, expressing her sadness. Goodman was a well-known figure to many as a judge on the popular TV show “Strictly Come Dancing” and its American counterpart, “Dancing with the Stars.” He had earned a reputation as a leading expert in ballroom dancing, having worked as a coach, dancer, and judge for several decades.
The passing of Goodman has left his family, friends, and fans mourning. Many have expressed condolences and shared memories of the beloved dancer on social media. Those who knew him will deeply miss Goodman’s contributions to the world of dance and his infectious personality.
Len Goodman, Former Dancing with the Stars Head Judge, is dead at 78
A former professional dancer and dance teacher Len Goodman, has been a judge on the show since its first episode in 2005. He gained a reputation for providing frank and occasionally brutal evaluations of celebrity competitors and their professional counterparts.
He took a break from the show in season 21 due to scheduling conflicts with the British version of the show, Strictly Come Dancing, where he also served as a judge. He later returned for seasons 22–28 but decided to step down from the role in 2022.
In a statement, he said: “It has been an honor and a privilege to be part of such a wonderful show for so many years. I have enjoyed every minute of it, and I am grateful for all the support and love from the fans, the producers, the hosts, and, of course, the dancers. I wish them all the best for the future, and I hope to see them on the dance floor again soon.”
He admitted that a live show demanded that he be alert and quick-witted. But he struggled more as he grew older. He quipped that he decided to quit before he nodded off or slobbered on the show. He revealed this in an interview back then.
Len Goodman added that he would miss the sunny weather of California, the collaboration with his co-judges, and the friendship with everyone on the show. He added that he would regret not witnessing the celebrities transform into dancers and not being part of one of the most popular shows on TV.
Len Goodman’s death leaves Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli, and Derek Hough as the remaining judges on the show. The show’s host, Tyra Banks, thanked Goodman for his contribution and said he would be missed.
“Len Goodman is a legend in the dance world and a legend on Dancing with the Stars. He has been a part of this family since day one, and we are so grateful for his wisdom, his wit, and his warmth. We all will miss him. Thank you for everything. Rest in peace, a lovely soul,” she said.
Len Goodman was also the head jury on Firmly Come Dancing, the unique U.K. version of Dancing with the Star, from 2004 to 2016. Besides television, Goodman, who had overcome prostate cancer, devoted himself to his dance institute, Goodman Dance School which he established in Kent, England. Goodman leaves behind his partner, Sue Barrett, and his adult child, James, from a former relationship. Goodman had been married to Cherry Kingston before.
Len Goodman’s passing is a profound loss for the world of dance and entertainment, and his contributions to the industry will not be forgotten. Our deepest condolences go out to his family and loved ones during this difficult time.