The late Dancing With the Stars judge spoke about his lengthy career with the Daily Mail‘s MailOnline in December 2022 after announcing his retirement from the Disney+ series. Goodman noted that he wouldn’t be surprised if he died in a similar way to his father, Leonard.
“My dad had the right idea,” Goodman said at the time. “He loved gardening and he had a stroke while he was out in the garden. He was 79, so if I go the way of my dad, that’ll be next year.”
The ballroom expert died in hospice care on Saturday, April 22, after battling bone cancer. “It is with great sadness to announce that Len Goodman has passed away peacefully, aged 78,” his agent revealed in a statement to Us Weekly on Monday, April 24. “A much loved husband, father and grandfather who will be sorely missed by family, friends and all who knew him.”
Goodman was just shy of his 79th birthday and is survived by his wife, Sue Barrett, and son James William Goodman from a previous relationship.
The U.K. native was a judge on the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing from 2004 to 2016, making his debut on DWTS when it premiered on ABC in 2005. He served as the head judge on the panel alongside Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli, both of whom mourned the loss of their beloved colleague on Monday.
“A Dancer. A teacher. A refined gentleman. A wonderful storyteller. A special soul. A mentor. A family man. And… A treasured friend,” Inaba, 55, wrote via Instagram. “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. 💔 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.”
She added: “Thank you for all that you shared with us. Your humor, your wisdom, your wit and your truth. Until we meet again…✨ Rest In Peace Len 🤍.”
The Strictly Len Goodman star appeared on nearly all of DWTS‘ 31 seasons, announcing his retirement in November 2022. “I’ve been with the show since it started in 2005 and it has been a huge pleasure to be part of such a wonderful show, but I’ve decided I would like to spend more time with my grandchildren and family back in Britain,” he said at the time. “I cannot thank you enough, the Dancing With the Stars family, it’s been such a wonderful experience for me and I’m looking forward so much to next week’s finale.”
Ahead of his death, Len was diagnosed with prostate cancer in March 2009. More than a decade later, he underwent surgery for a small facial melanoma.
“I don’t make a fuss about stuff like that,” he told MailOnline in December 2022. “It’s like when you have a car — you keep it serviced but even so, you’ll have some trouble with your carburetor and you’ll need to get it fixed, and eventually the whole thing will conk out, and there you go. It’s more about the journey, and mine has been lovely.”