Len Goodman, the suave and sophisticated judge who won the hearts of millions of fans worldwide with his wit, charm and encyclopedic knowledge of ballroom dancing, has passed away at the age of 78. His agent, Jackie Gill, announced the sad news on Monday, revealing that Goodman died peacefully, though no cause was given.
Goodman’s extraordinary career spanned decades and included multiple accolades and honors. A former dancer and British champion, he served as a judge on the BBC’s “Strictly Come Dancing” for an impressive 12 years, starting from the show’s debut in 2004. The show quickly became a smash hit with viewers, captivating audiences with its dazzling displays of talent and skill.
Goodman also lent his expertise to the American version of the show, “Dancing With the Stars,” where he served as head judge for an astounding 15 years until his retirement in November. He was known for his sharp tongue, quick wit and good humor, endearing him to fans and contestants alike.
Tributes have poured in from across the industry, with BBC director-general Tim Davie hailing Goodman as “a wonderful, warm entertainer who was adored by millions. He appealed to all ages and felt like a member of everyone’s family. Len was at the very heart of ‘Strictly’s success. He will be hugely missed by the public and his many friends and family.”
Goodman was also a recipient of the prestigious Carl Alan Award, recognizing his outstanding contributions to dance. He owned and operated the Goodman Academy dance school in southern England, where he trained generations of aspiring dancers.
As news of his passing spreads, fans are left to mourn the loss of a true icon and legend in the world of dance. Goodman’s legacy will undoubtedly live on, inspiring generations of dancers to come.