Len Goodman arrives at the 10th Anniversary Of "Dancing With The Stars" Party at Greystone Manor on April 21, 2015 in West Hollywood, California.
Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

Len Goodman, 'Dancing With the Stars' Judge, Dies at 78

Len Goodman, former head judge on Dancing With the Stars, died on Saturday (April 22) at a hospice in Kent, England after a battle with bone cancer. He was 78.

Goodman's manager Jackie Gill confirmed the news in a statement released on Monday (April 24).

"It is with great sadness to announce that Len Goodman has passed away peacefully, aged 78," Gill said in a statement shared with BBC News. "A much loved husband, father and grandfather who will be sorely missed by family, friends and all who knew him."

Goodman, a professional ballroom dancer, served as a judge on Dancing With the Stars from 2005 to 2022. From 2004 to 2016, he was the top judge on the British adaption of the show, Strictly Come Dancing.

Goodman had announced his retirement from Dancing With the Stars last November.

"I've been with the show since it started in 2005, and it's been a huge pleasure to be a huge part of such a wonderful show," Goodman shared at the time.  "But I've decided I'd like to spend more time with my grandchildren and family back in Britain. I cannot thank you enough, the Dancing With the Stars family. It has been such a wonderful experience for me."

Bruno Tonioli, who judged alongside Goodman since 2005, shared a tribute to his dear friend on social media.

"Heart broken my dear friend and partner for 19 years the one and only ballroom legend," Tonioli wrote. "I will treasure the memory of our incredible adventures and hundreds of shows we did together. There will never be anyone like you. We will miss you."


Dancing With the Stars judge Carrie Ann Inaba also penned a heartfelt message about her longtime friend and colleague, along with a video made up of clips of Goodman, whom she called "a dancer, a teacher, a refined gentleman, a wonderful storyteller, a special soul, a mentor, a family man and a treasured friend."


"Saying goodbye at the end of last season broke my hart," Inaba wrote. "But today's news has shattered it all over again. I can't believe that you're gone. You were one of a kind my dear friend. I will cherish our memories and hold them close while I join so many others in mourning your loss. Thank you for all that you shared with us. Your humor, your wisdom, your wit and your truth."

Julianne Hough, who started out as a professional dancer on Dancing With the Stars in 2007 and went on to serve as a judge on the series from 2014 to 2017, reflected on Goodman as both a mentor and a friend.

"From the time we met when I was 10 years old competing in London, to my first time on DWTS and feeling at home because of your familiar face and warm embrace. To the many 7's (SeVUUUHN) that turned in to my first ever 10 I received from you," Hough wrote. "To all the rules I broke on the dance floor that you were stern about but then would see me back stage and tell me you loved it. To then have sat by your side as a judge, rather partner, for so many years creating so many inside jokes and memories in the ballroom and outside of the ballroom, was and will be a sacred part of my life that I'll always cherish. The wisdom, playfulness, and class that radiated from you touched all of us with such impact. I'm forever grateful for the many years you influenced my past, present and future! What an honor it has been to have been a part of your wonderful life. You're a legend and left a beautiful legacy. I love you forever. Sending all my love to your family and especially 'your Sue'."