According to his manager, Len Goodman, a former judge on the television dancing program "Dancing with the Stars," passed away on Saturday from bone c
According to his manager, Len Goodman, a former judge on the television dancing program “Dancing with the Stars,” passed away on Saturday from bone cancer.
He was 78. On Monday, he would have turned 79.
Len Goodman passed away peacefully at the age of 78, according to a statement sent by Goodman’s manager Jackie Gill and provided to BBC News. A devoted husband, father, and grandfather who will be sadly lost by his loved ones, friends, and everyone he knew.
According to the BBC, Goodman passed away at a hospice in Kent, England, with his family by his side.
“He retained his sense of humor during his illness and dealt with it with great dignity,” said Gill. “He was always a true gentleman. He loved his work and never took anything for granted.”
While Goodman rose to fame among Americans as a judge on “DWTS,” he had already achieved success as a professional dancer before taking on the role of head judge on “Strictly Come Dancing” in the United Kingdom. He appeared on “Strictly” for 12 years starting in 2004 when it debuted on the BBC.
Celebrities and dance teachers are paired in the programs, and each week the teams perform a dance routine and receive ratings.
The Associated Press reports that Goodman made his ‘DWTS’ retirement announcement in November.
“Doing a live show you have to be at the top of your game and quick to react. And as one gets older, then things start to get more challenging,” he said to People. “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!”
Many coworkers and fans made tributes to Goodman.
British presenter Esther Rantzen described Goodman as firm but always “a gentleman.”
“One of the reasons he succeeded so well in the States is that he was quintessentially British,” said Rantzen. “He was firm but fair, funny but a gentleman and I hope the nation will adopt his favorite expostulation of ‘pickle me walnuts.’”
Goodman left behind his wife, a son and two grandchildren.
“There will never be anyone like you,” the former judge Bruno Tonioli wrote alongside a photo of the two of them. “You will always be my perfect 10.”