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Len Goodman, longtime judge of “Dancing With the Stars” and “Strictly Come Dancing,” has passed away. He was 78 years old.
Goodman’s manager confirmed his death to the BBC on Monday. A British ballroom dancer and judge was diagnosed with bone cancer in 2021. He died on April 22 at an inn in Kent, surrounded by his family.
“It is with great sadness that we announce that Lynn Goodman has passed away peacefully at the age of 78,” Goodman’s agent, Jackie Gill, said in a statement. “A much-loved husband, father and grandfather who will be sorely missed by family, friends and everyone who knew him.”
Goodman was a mainstay as lead judge on the popular BBC dance competition, “Strictly Come Dancing” from its launch in 2004 until 2016. He has also served as a judge on the US version, “Dancing With the Stars” on ABC, since its launch from 2005 to 2022.
In November, Goodman revealed that season 31 of “Dancing With the Stars,” which premiered last fall in his new home on Disney+, would be his final season after 17 years with the show.
“I got a call to be a judge three days before the premiere,” Goodman said at the time. “Little Lin! who am I? I’m just a dance teacher from Dartford. Suddenly, I entered Hollywood. I have a reputation for being a strict judge, because what I see is what I say.”
In fact, Goodman was respected on both shows for his straightforward criticism and analysis of the contestants. He didn’t mince words in conveying the comments, but was also kind and a compliment from the star performer.
The BBC issued a statement just minutes after Goodman’s death was first announced by its public broadcaster, with managing director Tim Davie describing him as “a wonderful, heartwarming entertainer adored by millions”.
“He appealed to all ages and he felt like a member of everyone’s family,” Davey said. “Lane was at the heart of Strictly’s success. He will be missed by the fans and many of his friends and family.”
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