Len Goodman’s Cause of Death: What We Know

Long-time Dancing With the Stars and Strictly Come Dancing judge Len Goodman died on Saturday, April 22 following a battle with bone cancer. Although Goodman had not previously revealed his diagnosis, his manager Jackie Gill confirmed his cause of death to the BBC early Monday morning, sharing that Goodman passed away at a hospice in Kent surrounded by his family.

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

Goodman’s passing came after he retired from Dancing With the Stars in November 2022, exiting the series at the end of Season 31 after having been attached to the show since 2005. At the time, Goodman said he wanted to spend more time with his family in the U.K., later sharing with PEOPLE that he wanted to retire from the show before his age began to affect him.

“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. 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!” he told the outlet. “I will miss the California sunshine, working with my fellow judges and the camaraderie with everyone on the show. I’ll miss seeing the celebrities developing into dancers and I will miss being part of one of the most successful shows on TV.”

A former professional ballroom dancer and British champion, Goodman served as head judge on “Strictly Come Dancing” for 12 years from its launch on the BBC in 2004. He left the show in 2016. He began his stint on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2005.

Known for his cheeky one-liners and tough criticism, Goodman was endearing and beloved.

Fellow judge Bruno Tonioli shared a touching tribute to his friend on Instagram Monday morning.

“Heart broken my dear friend and partner for 19 years the one and only ballroom legend #lengoodman passed away I will treasure the memory of our incredible adventures and hundreds of shows we did together @bbcstrictly @dancingwiththestars they will never be anyone like you we will miss you,” he wrote, along with several heart emojis.

Goodman opened up about his retirement life back in December, revealing that he spent his Saturday nights shouting at Craig Revel Horwood. He told the Daily Mail, “I’ve been giving it a load of ‘WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM, CRAIG. WHAT ARE YOU ON ABOUT?’ Craig has gone bloody mad. He gave Will (Mellor) a seven for his Paso Doble. I’d have given him a nine.”

Born as Leonard Gordon Goodman in London in 1944, got his start in the ballroom after he sustained a foot injury and his doctor recommended dance as a form of therapy. Goodman went on to become a professional ballroom dancer, winning a number of competitions. In addition to Dancing With the Stars, Goodman was also known as head judge on the popular BBC dance competition Strictly Come Dancing. He served in the role from the show’s 2004 debut until 2016. He also presented Partners in Rhyme, Holiday of My Lifetime with Len Goodman, and Dancing Cheek to Cheek: An Intimate History of Dance.


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