Len Goodman, ‘Dancing With The Stars’ Judge, Dead At 78
Dancing with the Stars judge Len Goodman has died at 78 years old. His manager, Jackie Gill, announced his passing to USA Today in a statement Monday (April 24). “It is with great sadness to announce that Len Goodman has passed away peacefully,” Gill said.
Goodman died Saturday night with his wife Sue Barrett and son James, from a previous relationship, by his bedside. The former ballroom dancer was a beloved husband, father and grandfather who will be missed by those who knew him, the statement added. He had previously been diagnosed with bone cancer.
Goodman was head judge of Dancing With the Stars since its 2005 premiere. The dance competition show announced in November “with a touch of sadness” that the season would be his last on the judge’s panel after 17 years. The show moved to Disney+ in the fall of 2022 after 30 seasons on ABC.
“It has been a huge pleasure to be a part of such a wonderful show,” he said at the time. “But I’ve decided I’d like to spend more time with my grandchildren and family back in Britain. I could not thank you enough, my Dancing With The Stars family. It’s been such a wonderful experience for me.”
The official DWTS Twitter account wrote: “Len Goodman will always be an icon in the world of ballroom dance, and we were lucky to have him as part of our Dancing with the Stars family for 31 seasons. He was warm and caring, and always delivered genuine guidance.”
Len Goodman will always be an icon in the world of ballroom dance, and we were lucky to have him as part of our ‘Dancing with the Stars’ family for 31 seasons. He was warm and caring, and always delivered genuine guidance. pic.twitter.com/NWxHMD9e7q— Dancing with the Stars #DWTS (@officialdwts) April 24, 2023
A former professional ballroom dancer and British champion, Goodman was also head judge on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing for 12 years from its launch in 2004. Just like DWTS, the dance competition pairs celebrities with professional dance partners. It was a surprise hit and has become one of the network’s most popular shows. For several years he judged the British and American shows simultaneously each autumn.