The world of dance and television mourns the passing of Len Goodman, the esteemed judge of “Dancing With The Stars” and “Strictly Come Dancing,” who has left us at the age of 78 after a courageous battle with bone cancer. His manager, Jackie Gill, confirmed his demise on Monday, revealing that Goodman took his last breath in a hospice center in Kent, England.
In a statement expressing profound grief, Gill described Goodman as “a much-loved husband, father, and grandfather who will be sorely missed by family, friends, and all who knew him.” Indeed, Goodman’s contributions to the world of dance and entertainment will not be forgotten.
With a career spanning decades, Goodman began as a professional ballroom dancer before transitioning to television. He served as a judge on “Dancing With The Stars” from 2005 to 2022, bringing a touch of wry humor to the show. He first assumed the role of head judge in the 2005 season. Goodman also presided as the top judge on the British adaptation of the show, “Strictly Come Dancing,” from 2004 to 2016.
The dance community, friends, and family paid tribute to the late icon on social media, celebrating his legacy and sharing their sorrow.
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) released a heartfelt statement shortly after Goodman’s passing was announced. BBC Director General Tim Davie extolled Goodman as a “wonderful, warm entertainer who was adored by millions.” Davie emphasized the judge’s widespread appeal, saying, “He appealed to all ages and felt like a member of everyone’s family. Len was at the very heart of Strictly’s success. He will be hugely missed by the public and his many friends and family.”
Born in London in 1944, Goodman embarked on his journey as a professional dancer during his teenage years, long before gracing television screens. Throughout his career, he earned numerous accolades and awards for his exceptional talent. Before fully immersing himself in the world of dance, Goodman worked as an apprentice welder. After sustaining a foot injury, a doctor suggested dance as a form of therapy, and at the age of 19, Goodman began his transformative journey into the art of dance.
As we bid farewell to Len Goodman, his indelible impact on the world of dance and his warm, vibrant presence will be dearly missed and cherished by those who had the privilege of knowing him, and the millions who enjoyed his work.