(UnitedVoice.com) – In 2004, the British show “Strictly Come Dancing” premiered on television. The next year, “Dancing with the Stars” debuted on American TV. The shows paired celebrities with professional dancers, and they competed with other teams. Dancer Leonard “Len” Goodman served as a host on both shows for 12 and 17 years, respectively. Sadly, he has now passed away.
On Saturday, April 22, Goodman passed away in Kent, England, where he was in hospice. The New York Times reported that his death was caused by bone cancer. Jackie Gill, his agent, said that he’d been working until a few weeks ago. Throughout his illness, Gill said the dancer “retained his sense of humor” and managed to deal “with it with great dignity.”
A statement on the “Dancing with the Stars” Twitter account called Goodman “warm and caring” and said he “always delivered genuine guidance.”
Len Goodman will always be an icon in the world of ballroom dance, and we were lucky to have him as part of our ‘Dancing with the Stars’ family for 31 seasons. He was warm and caring, and always delivered genuine guidance. pic.twitter.com/NWxHMD9e7q
— Dancing with the Stars #DWTS (@officialdwts) April 24, 2023
Goodman was born on April 25, 1944, during WWII, in London. He began dancing when he was 19 years old and went on to have a wildly successful ballroom dancing career. He won the British Rising Stars, Duel of the Giants, the World Exhibition Championship, and the British Exhibition Championships four times. He also received the Carl Alan Award for his contributions to the art.
In his late 20s, he opened a dancing school known as the Goodman Dance Academy, which is still open. Bruno Tonioli, a fellow judge on the dance shows, released a statement mourning his friend’s death.
Hart broken my dear friend and partner for 19 years the one and only ballroom LEGEND #LenGoodman passed away I will treasure the memories of our adventures @bbcstrictly @officialdwts there will never be anyone like you you will always be my perfect 10 ❤️ pic.twitter.com/M5qnHedx5S
— Bruno Tonioli (@BrunoTonioli) April 24, 2023
Leah Remini called Goodman a “gentleman with a great sense of humor and warmth.”
Len Goodman was a gentleman with a great sense of humor and warmth.
Whether I was a contestant or a guest judge, Len was always good to me.
He will be missed.
I am sending my love and prayers to his family. pic.twitter.com/t3KerLYIFK
— Leah Remini (@LeahRemini) April 24, 2023
In 1972, he married his first wife, Cherry Kingston, but they divorced. He was later in a relationship with a woman named Lesley, and in 1981, they welcomed their son James William Goodman. In 2012, he married Sue Barrett, who remained his wife at the time of his death. Goodman also had two grandchildren.
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