Former “Dancing With the Stars” judge Len Goodman has died at the age of 78.
According to a statement from his manager, Goodman died Saturday (April 22) in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, in southern England of bone cancer.
“It is with great sadness to announce that Len Goodman has passed away peacefully, aged 78,” the statement read. “A much loved husband, father and grandfather who will be sorely missed by family, friends and all who knew him.”
Len Goodman served as head judge on “Dancing With the Stars,” the American version of the popular British show “Strictly Come Dancing,” from 2005 to 2022. He announced last year that he was leaving the show so that he could “spend more time with my grandchildren and family” in the UK.
Goodman announced on the air that season 31 would be his last in the ballroom. His news was met with surprise and sadness followed by a standing ovation.
Goodman began dancing at the age of 19 to help strengthen an injured foot. He discovered a love for the sport and went on to win the British Dancing Championships roughly a decade later. He then retired and pursued a career as dance teacher and choreographer.
He joined “Strictly Come Dancing” as head judge in 2004, a position he held until 2016. His judging role on “Dancing With the Stars” made Goodman an international star. His knowledge of dance and astute judging skills earned him legend status among professional dancers and fans of the show.