“Dancing with the Stars” Judge Dead at 78

len goodman with hearts background
Credit: ABC/Canva

Len Goodman, former head judge on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, has died. He was 78.

len goodman dancing with the stars

Credit: PARADE Magazine

Goodman died on Saturday, April 22, at a hospice in Kent, England, surrounded by his family. His manager, Jackie Gill, confirmed that he died after battling bone cancer and shared a statement with BBC News, which read in part:

“It is with great sadness to announce that Len Goodman has passed away peacefully, aged 78. A much-loved husband, father, and grandfather who will be sorely missed by family, friends, and all who knew him.”

Len Goodman, 'Dancing with the Stars' head judge, dead at 78 | Fox News

Credit: Disney/ABC

Goodman, a former professional dancer and dance teacher, had been one of the original judges on Dancing With the Stars since its debut in 2005. He starred in the series for 20 seasons before taking a break during Season 21. He then returned for Seasons 22 through 28.

In November 2022, Goodman announced that Season 28 of Dancing with the Stars on ABC would be his last, as he was stepping down from his post to have more time with his family.
“I’ve decided to spend more time with my grandchildren and my family back in Britain,” Goodman said during the mid-November 2022 finale of the fan-favorite ABC show.

“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 told PEOPLE Magazine at the time. “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!”

Goodman had been the centerpiece of the judges’ panel on Dancing With the Stars since 2005. But long before he wielded such judicial power on the sidelines of Disney’s most famous dance floor, he too spent years under the scrutiny and criticism–constructive or otherwise–of other dance judges.


Credit: Seventies of Len/Len Goodman

Goodman was nearly 20 years old when he started dancing. Following a foot injury, his doctors told him that dancing would be good therapy for him. By the time he was in his late twenties, he had already retired from dancing, having turned professional, after winning multiple competitions, including the British Championships at Blackpool.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!