Len Goodman, ‘Dancing with the Stars’ head judge, dead at 78. ‘Dancing with the Stars’ head judge and dancer Goodman was battling bone cancer.
Len Goodman, long-time lead judge of “Dancing with the Stars,” has “passed away peacefully,” Fox News Digital can confirm.
Goodman was “a much loved husband, father and grandfather who will be sorely missed by family, friends and all who knew him,” a statement per his agent Jackie Gill read.
Goodman had been diagnosed with bone cancer. He was 78.
The legendary dancer and television personality is survived by his wife Sue Goodman, as well as his son James William Goodman.
A former professional ballroom dancer and British champion, Goodman served as head judge on “Strictly Come Dancing” for 12 years from its launch on the BBC in 2004. He left the show in 2016. He began his stint on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2005.
Known for his cheeky one-liners and tough criticism, Goodman was endearing and beloved.
Fellow judge Bruno Tonioli shared a touching tribute to his friend on Instagram Monday morning.
“Heart broken my dear friend and partner for 19 years the one and only ballroom legend #lengoodman passed away I will treasure the memory of our incredible adventures and hundreds of shows we did together @bbcstrictly @dancingwiththestars they will never be anyone like you we will miss you,” he wrote, along with several heart emojis.
Carrie Ann Inaba also posted a moving video for her late friend, writing to Instagram in part, “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 heart. But today’s news has shattered it all over again. I can’t believe that you’re gone,” she added with a broken-heart emoji.
“You were one of a kind my dear friend. And 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.”
During season 31 this past fall, Goodman announced he would be retiring from the show with the intention of spending more time with his family.