Len Goodman

Len Goodman, Former Dancing With The Stars Head Judge, Passes Away At 78

It is a sad day for Dancing with the Stars fans. Beloved head judge Len Goodman has passed away at the age of 78. People reported that Len died on April 22, 2023. He was at a hospice in Kent, England, with his family by his side. The long-time DWTS judge had bone cancer.

Len’s manager, Jackie Gill, issued a statement to BBC News confirming Len’s passing. “It is with great sadness to announce that Len Goodman has passed away peacefully, aged 78. A much-loved husband, father and grandfather who will be sorely missed by family, friends and all who knew him,” the statement read.

Len was a former professional dancer. From 2004 until 2016, he served as the head judge on the British dance competition, Strictly Come Dancing. Additionally, Len went on the judge the American version of the show, DWTS, from 2005 until 2022. Obviously, competitors longed to hear, “From Len-the 10.” It was basically the Holy Grail for the dancers.

BBC Director-General Tim Davie also shared a statement on Twitter. “Len Goodman was a wonderful, warm entertainer who was adored by millions. He appealed to all ages and felt like a member of everyone’s family.” Tim continued, “Len was at the very heart of Strictly’s success. He will be hugely missed by the public and his many friends and family.”

Piers Morgan took to Twitter to post a tribute to Len. He posted a photo of the duo dancing together. Piers wrote, “More very sad news from the world of entertainment…RIP Len Goodman, 78 – welder, dancer, judge, and devoted cricket & West Ham fan. Always had a laugh with Len, and swapped a few strong opinions. A quintessential Londoner and a top bloke,” Piers added.

RELATED: Dancing With The Stars Pro Val Chmerkovskiy Will Make Cameo On Bravo’s New Show Dancing Queens

Surprisingly, the judge announced his retirement from DWTS in November 2022. “Whilst we all are getting excited and looking forward so much to the finale next week, it would also be with a touch of sadness and this will be my last season judging on Dancing with the Stars,” Len said. He added that serving as a judge on the series was “a huge pleasure.” Len wanted to spend more time with his family. His fellow judges Bruno Tonioli, Carrie Ann Inaba, and Derek Hough tearfully embraced Len.

Len wielded his judges’ paddle for the first 20 seasons of DWTS. He sat out for Season 21. Len was back for Seasons 22-28. He returned for Season 30 after missing Season 29.

During the Season 31 finale, Charli D’Amelio and Mark Ballas won the mirrorball. However, it marked Len’s final appearance on DWTS. He reflected on his favorite memories from the show.

“All good things have to come to an end,” Len stated. “For me, it was such a privilege being a part of Dancing with the Stars.” Afterward, host Alfonso Ribeiro presented Len with his very own mirrorball trophy. Len was thrilled!

DWTS fans will remember Len’s humor and his hatred of hip-hop. I hope that he is tripping the light fantastic with all the dancing greats.

We are sending our heartfelt condolences to Len’s family and friends during this difficult time.


[Photo Credit: ABC/Christopher Willard]