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Len Goodman, a longtime judge on Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing with the Stars, has died at age 78. He passed away on Saturday (April 22) following a battle with bone cancer.
His manager, Jackie Gill released the following statement to BBC:
“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 was a judge on Strictly from 2004-2016. He first appeared on DWTS in 2005 and served as its head judge for most of its 31 seasons.
Last year, during season 31, Len announced his retirement. He cited a desire to spend more time at home with his family.
While pros, contestants, and hosts have changed through the years, the judges on DWTS have remained almost constant. Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli have judged every season of the show.
Carrie Ann, Bruno, and Len would often butt heads over scores and opinions. This would result in some dramatic moments. Other times, their disagreements would lead to a funny exchange between the three judges.
No matter how much they bickered onscreen, Carrie Ann, Bruno, and Len had a mutual respect for each other after working together for so long.
After news broke about Len’s passing, Carrie Ann and Bruno reacted to the news. Bruno, who also worked with Len on Strictly, said:
“Hart broken [sic] 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.”
Carrie Ann shared an emotional post and accompanying slideshow. She said:
“Saying goodbye at the end of last season broke my heart. But today’s news has shattered it all over again. I can’t believe that you’re gone. You were one of a kind my dear friend. And I will cherish our memories and hold them close, while I join so many others in mourning your loss.”
You can read Carrie Ann’s full post and watch her slideshow below.
Len’s many loved ones and friends will be in our prayers during this difficult time. May he rest in peace.
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