Longtime “Dancing With The Stars” Judge Dies At 78

@lengoodmanmbe via Instagram

When the reality dancing competition “Dancing with the Stars” premiered in 2005, Len Goodman was already part of the show as head judge. He remained head judge on the show for 17 years. Simultaneously, Goodman also judged the British dancing competition show “Strictly Come Dancing,” which premiered in 2004. Goodman commuted back and forth across the Atlantic Ocean every week for many years so that he could judge both shows.

Last year, Goodman announced his retirement from “Dancing with the Stars.” He said at the time that he “decided I’d like to spend more time with my grandchildren and family back in Britain.” He called being head judge of “Dancing with the Stars,” “a wonderful experience.”

Jackie Gill, Goodman’s manager, released a statement earlier today sharing the sad news that Goodman has passed away. Gill explained, “It is with great sadness to announce that Len Goodman has passed away peacefully.” Goodman’s wife, Sue Barrett, and his adult son, James, born from a previous relationship, were both with him when he died. 

Goodman died on Saturday April 22, 2023, at the age of 78. Previously, he had been diagnosed with bone cancer.

“Dancing with the Stars” released a statement on Twitter following Goodman’s death. The show shared a picture of Goodman from the show along with the text, “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.”

Derek Hough, a former professional dancer on “Dancing with the Stars,” tweeted, “Heart broken by the news of our dear friend and mentor Len Goodman. Still hard to fully process but filled with gratitude knowing I had the privilege of working beside this absolute legend. We will miss you dearly Len.”

Marie Osmond, who competed on season 5 of “Dancing with the Stars,” tweeted, “Loved the times I spent getting to know Len on Dancing With the Stars! I’m so sad to hear of his passing. He was a true gentleman!!! My heart and prayers go out to his family at such a difficult time.”

Watch the video below to learn more about the passing of this well liked dancer and judge.

Rest in peace.