Len Goodman Dead at 78



A photo of Len Goodman

Kerah McCord, Staff Writer

Len Goodman, former judge of “Dancing With The Stars” died on April 22, 2023. He was 78 when he lost his battle with bone cancer. In March 2009, Goodman was diagnosed with prostate cancer and had a cancerous tumor removed from his prostate gland. In 2019, he had skin cancer removed from his forehead. Goodman’s death was  confirmed by his agent, Jackie Gill, on Monday in a statement. “It is with great sadness to announce that Len Goodman has passed away peacefully, aged 78,” Gill said.Goodman was a loving husband, father, and grandfather who will be dearly missed by family, friends, and all those who knew him. He died in hospice in Kent, England surrounded by family. Goodman is survived by his wife, Sue Barrett, and his 42 year old son, James. His first appearance as a judge was on the British dance contest show “Strictly Come Dancing” and he was part of it for 12 years in 2004. Then, he began judging “Dancing with the Stars’ ‘ when it first aired in 2005.

Within the following year, he judged the ABC show until he announced his retirement “with a touch of sadness” in November 2022. Goodman wrote: “I’ve been with the show since it started in 2005 and it has been a huge pleasure to be a part of such a wonderful show, but I’ve decided I want to spend more time with my children and family. I cannot thank the family of ‘Dancing with the Stars’ enough. It has been such a wonderful experience for me.” Emma Slater and other DWTS competitors shared their thoughts and feelings about the shocking and devastating news of the passing of Goodman. “It caught me off guard,” Slater told Page Six. She didn’t expect to “feel as emotional” as she did.

Inaba, 55, posted a video of playful moments between herself and Goodman over the years “A 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 newstoday news has shattered it all over again. I can’tagain I can’t believebelieved that you’reyour gone.” She continued “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.” 

Gleb Savchenko called the news “heartbreaking” and  referred to Goodman’s absence as a “missing piece.” One question that has everybody wondering is “Can you predict your own death?” In many news articles Goodman seemingly predicted his own death. According to Daily Beast, a new study shows that measurements taken with wrist-worn motion sensors can be used to predict one’s mortality risk up to five years later. 

Len Goodman had an idea about when he died, and he predicted how he would be around the same age his father was. Six months before his death, in a conversation with Dailymail, Goodman said that he would be surprised if he died similar to how his father died, unexpectedly, at the age 79. “My dad had the right idea,” Goodman said. “My dad loved to garden and had a stroke while gardening at 79, if I followed the way my dad went, it will be next year.” The late judge told interviewers to write on his obituary “He was a dance teacher from Dartford who got lucky because that is just about the truth of it.” He told PEOPLE his plan to retire “Doing a live show, you have to be at the top of your game and quick to react. And as one gets older, things start to get more challenging. I haven’t fallen asleep or started dribbling yet on the show, so I thought it’s best to go before I start to do so!” 

Before Goodman died he was in a bittersweet interview about what dark message should be on his tombstone. “Most of my life that was my attitude. It should be on my tombstone. Here lies Len- He couldn’t be bothered.”