'Dancing with the Stars' judge Len Goodman dies at 78

"Dancing with the Stars" judge Len Goodman has died. He was 78. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
"Dancing with the Stars" judge Len Goodman has died. He was 78. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

April 24 (UPI) -- Len Goodman, the popular judge on dance competition shows Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing with the Stars has died.

The London-born TV personality started as a head judge on Strictly Come Dancing in 2004 remaining on the show until 2016. A year later, he joined Dancing with the Stars, the American version of the show, where he stayed until 2022 when he announced his retirement.


The cause of death was bone cancer. He was 78.

Goodman was a professional dancer and dance teacher who specialized in "exhibition" dance. He was the four-time winner of the British Exhibition, and the runner up in the British World Exhibition Championship. He ran the Goodman Dance Academy in Kent, England, where he lived. He wrote several books including a memoir, Better Late Than Never: From Barrow Boy to Ballroom.


"It is with great sadness to announce that Len Goodman has passed away peacefully, aged 78," his manager, Jackie Gill, said in a statement Monday.

"A much loved husband, father and grandfather who will be sorely missed by family, friends and all who knew him."

Leonard Gordon Goodman was born in Farnborough, Kent on April 25, 1944. He started dancing at 19. He became a TV personality at the recommendation of New Zealand dance champion Erin Boag, who reportedly told Strictly Come Dancing producers "He's just a dance teacher from Dartford, but he's a bit of a character."

Goodman is survived by his wife, Jane Barrett, and his son, James.

Tributes to Goodman were posted on social media from his colleagues in the dance and entertainment worlds.

Dancing with the Stars judge Bruno Tonioli posted, "Hart broken my dear friend and partner for 19 years the one and only ballroom LEGEND #LenGoodman passed away I will treasure the memories of our adventures @bbcstrictly @officialdwts there will never be anyone like you you will always be my perfect 10."


TV personality Piers Morgan shared a picture with Goodman saying he was a "top bloke."

"More very sad news from the world of entertainment...," Morgan posted. "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."

Strictly Come Dancing's longest-running judge said, Craig Revel Horwood posted:

"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."

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