The English dance expert Len Goodman was featured in the ballroom competition from 2005 until last year. He died on 22 April, Saturday in a hospice in Kent, southern England. Following a battle with bone cancer, his manager confirmed.
“He was surrounded by his family,” Goodman’s manager, Jackie Gill, told CNN in a statement on Monday.
However, Goodman served as head judge on the BBC dance series “Strictly Come Dancing” — the British version of DWTS. From its inception in 2004. Also, he made his final appearance on the 2016 Christmas Day special. Shirley Ballas stepped into the role following his departure.
Dancing With the Stars judge Len Goodman dies at 78
Len Goodman, a long-serving judge on “Dancing with the Stars” and “Strictly Come Dancing”. He helped revive interest in ballroom dancing on both sides of the Atlantic.
A former professional ballroom dancer and British champion, Goodman was head judge on “Strictly Come Dancing” for 12 years from its launch on the BBC in 2004. The dance competition, which pairs celebrities with professional dance partners, was a surprise hit and has become one of the network’s most popular shows.
Goodman’s pithy observations, delivered in a Cockney accent, endeared him to viewers. “You floated across that floor like butter on a crumpet,” he remarked after one foxtrot. He praised a salsa-dancing couple as “like two sizzling sausages on a barbecue.”
Goodman was head judge on the U.S. version of the show, ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars,”. For 15 years until his retirement in November. For several years he judged the British and American shows simultaneously each autumn, crisscrossing Weeklylantic weekly.
Goodman rose to fame in his later years
Therefore, Goodman grew up in London’s East End. He spent his formative years working at his father’s fruit and vegetable stand (“and being bathed at night in the same water they used to cook the beetroot,” per his autobiography). Also, then as a welder in the London Docks.
A foot injury dashed Goodman’s dreams of becoming a professional soccer player. Also, he did introduce him to the world of ballroom dancing after his doctor suggested he try it as part of his recovery.
Goodman danced professionally for about a decade. He won several championships with his partner-turned-wife Cherry Kingston (they divorced in 1987. Also, he married dance teacher Sue Barrett in 2012).
But he didn’t become a household name until his 60s when he started judging on Strictly Come Dancing and DWTS.
Rantzen said she believes Goodman was so successful in the U.S. in part. Because “he was quintessentially British: firm but fair, funny but a gentleman.”
Dancing with the Stars judges, and dancers pay tribute to Len Goodman: ‘A treasured friend’
The “Dancing with the Stars” family is mourning the death of Len Goodman. The manager for the longtime judge of the reality show said on April 24 that Goodman had died at the age of 78.
Judges and competitors from “Dancing with the Stars” paid respect to Goodman. He had announced on the show last November that he would be leaving the series at the season’s end.
“A Dancer. A teacher. A refined gentleman. A wonderful storyteller. A special soul. A mentor. A family man. And… A treasured friend,” fellow judge Carrie Ann Inaba captioned a photo and video montage of Goodman.
Bruno Tonioli, who judged alongside Goodman on “Dancing with the Stars”. Also, the BBC’s “Strictly Come Dancing,” also paid homage to him.
“Heartbroken my dear friend and partner for 19 years the only ballroom legend #lengoodman passed away,” he captioned a picture of them together.