Len Goodman announces departure from Dancing with the Stars
Dancing With The Stars judge Len Goodman left the series “laughing and joking” just months before his death, opting to hide his cancer diagnosis from most of the team.
Yesterday, it was announced Goodman had died at the age of 78 after a short battle with bone cancer, just a few days shy of his 79th birthday.
The news sent shockwaves through the dancing community in both the UK and the US, where he had become famed as a head judge on Strictly Come Dancing and its LA-based counterpart, Dancing With The Stars.
While Goodman left Strictly back in 2016, he remained on Dancing With The Stars until the end of 2022, when he announced his retirement on screen.
At the time, he said he simply “wanted to spend more time with his grandchildren”.
According to The US Sun, most of the production team were completely unaware the real reason was his health battle, instead believing it was simply a case of retirement due to his age.
Even up to his final day on the show, Goodman continued to crack jokes with the cast and crew, joking to the producers he didn’t want a final dance in his last episode as he “just liked to shuffle around these days”.
“Off camera, he was a delight to be around. He was a humble, polite, and kind-hearted human being,” a source explained.
“No one had a bad word to say about him and treated everyone like a friend. He was a really positive energy throughout his whole time and a real team player.”
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They added Goodman opted for an “understated exit” with no real fanfare or party, and the team believed he would return in some capacity, not realising it was the last time they’d see 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,” Goodman explained of his exit.
“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!
“I will miss the California sunshine, working with my fellow judges, and the camaraderie with everyone on the show.”
A statement from his manager, Jackie Gill, on Monday said: “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.”
It’s believed he passed on Saturday, April 22.
He is survived by his wife, Sue, son, James and two grandchildren, Alice and Daniel.
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