- Len Goodman died on Saturday, April 22, at the age of 78.
- Goodman had suffered from bone cancer.
- He had performed as an award-winning professional dancer and served as a judge in multiple dance competition programs.
On Saturday, April 22, Len Goodman died, days before his birthday. News of his passing, which follows a short illness, comes from his manager Jackie Gill. Goodman was 78 when he died “peacefully,” surrounded by family, according to a statement provided by Gill.
Goodman was a familiar presence on the dance floor. He appeared as a dancer in America’s Dancing with the Stars from 2005 until 2022. From 2004 until 2016, he also served as the head judge in the British equivalent that inspired DWTS known as Strictly Come Dancing.
The sensational life of Len Goodman
To Len, a 10. Our thoughts are with your family and our hearts will always be with you. pic.twitter.com/eN2aMGDpBL
— BBC Strictly ✨ (@bbcstrictly) April 24, 2023
Len Goodman was born on April 25, 1944, in Farnborough, Kent, England. He had an active upbringing, playing cricket and helping his grandfather tend to the vegetables. At some point, he suffered a foot injury and a doctor recommended he take up dancing as a form of physical therapy. He took this advice, turned it into a profession, and proved the dance floor is where he belonged.
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Goodman has won several awards, including the Carl Alan Award, celebrating his contributions to dance, and was even nominated for an Emmy in the Outstanding Reality/Competition Program category. He’s been a part of television dance history, serving as head judge of Strictly Come Dancing since its very start in 2004; it’s a role he retained until 2016 on the Christmas Day Special.
A loss mourned the world over
Goodman left a strong, lasting mark in the world of dance. He’d been a head judge for Dancing with the Stars for years too and would later serve as a presenter reviewing different dance styles, putting his years-long expertise to helpful use. In November 2022, he announced his impending retirement, the better to spend time with his family, which included his wife of over a decade, Sue Barrett. He also had a son, James William Goodman, with a woman named Lesley.
Goodman’s resounding reach means that many are left mourning his passing. His manager Gill called him “A much loved husband, father and grandfather who will be sorely missed by family, friends and all who knew him.”
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
The official Twitter page of Dancing with the Stars posted an image of Goodman with a caption that reads, “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.”
Rest in peace, Len Goodman.