Len Goodman Dies: ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Judge Was 78

(L-R) Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli at the judges table on Dancing With the Stars. (Credit: ABC)

Former Dancing With the Stars judge Len Goodman has died after battling cancer. He was 78.

Goodman’s talent manager told the BBC on Monday that the British ballroom dancer and judge had been diagnosed with bone cancer and passed away on Saturday at a hospice in Kent, England, surrounded by family.

Goodman (pictured above in the center) was known for his straightforward and wry humor during critiques, including his kindness and complimentary comments to performers.

He served as a judge on Dancing With the Stars from its debut in 2005 on ABC through season 31 in 2022, after the show moved to Disney+.

His charming personality made him a beloved figure among American audiences.

In addition to his role on Dancing With the Stars, he was a staple as head judge on the popular BBC competition series Strictly Come Dancing from 2004 until 2016.

Goodman’s passion for dance was ignited at the age of 19, when a doctor suggested that dancing would be good exercise for his injured foot.

In his late 20s he won the British Championship, which led him to retire from professional dancing. He went on to become a well-respected dance teacher, choreographer and judge. He even opened whis own dance school, the Goodman Dance Academy.

After serving as a judge for more than 15 years on DWTS, Goodman retired last year saying that he wanted to spend more time with his family and grandchildren in the UK.

Previously, he had been treated for prostate cancer in 2009, and in 2020 it was revealed that he had an operation to treat skin cancer on his forehead, according to the Daily Mail.

In a statement to the BBC, Goodman’s rep Jackie Gill described him as “a much loved husband, father and grandfather who will be sorely missed by family, friends and all who knew him.”