The news that Len Goodman health is declining has sparked widespread concern. After all, Goodman was a judge on both the US and UK versions of Dancing with the Stars for over 15 years until his retirement in 2022.
His death comes as a shock to many fans and followers of the dance competition show, as it was announced on Monday that Goodman died surrounded by his family after battling bone cancer. The former head judge of Strictly Come Dancing, 78, was a popular figure on the dance competition and loved by his audience for his “Seven!” score and witty one-liners in his thick cockney accent.
A professional ballroom dancer, Goodman began dancing at the age of 19 and won several competitions including the British Championships in Blackpool. He also owned the Goodman Academy dance school in southern England and received the Carl Alan Award in recognition of his contributions to dance.
He became a famous figure in the dance world by appearing on television and judging shows, and his name was known throughout the world. He also presented BBC radio programs and made TV documentaries, including a 2012 program about the sinking of the Titanic.
When Goodman was young, he worked as a shipyard welder, but his passion for dance began at age 20 when his doctor recommended it to him after he suffered a foot injury. He started dancing as a way to relax, but later decided to become a professional dancer. He won several competitions and opened the Goodman Academy dance school in Dartford, England.
In his spare time, he wrote books and was a member of the Royal Society of Arts. He sat on the board of directors of the prestigious London Dance Society for several years.
He married the dancer Cherry Kingston in 1972 and had a son with her. They divorced and he later married dance teacher Sue Barrett.
A few years after marriage, he started his own dance school, the Goodman Academy, in Dartford, England. In addition to his work as a professional dancer and coach, Goodman was also an accomplished singer and an actor. He was also a recipient of the Carl Alan Award, which is awarded in recognition of outstanding contribution to dance and is considered by some to be the “Oscars of the dance world.”
As a professional dancer, Goodman won multiple international competitions. He was a former winner of the Dual of the Giants, the British Rising Stars and the British Exhibition Championships (four times).
His career as a dancer, judge and author began to take off in the 1970s. He was a regular guest on BBC shows and appeared in countless films. He was a member of the Royal Society of Artists and the Royal National Ballet. He also authored several books, including Better Late Than Never: From Barrow Boy to Ballroom, which was published in 2009.
He was a popular figure on the dance competition show, and his name was known throughout the world. The veteran dancer was a longtime judge on both the US and UK versions of the show, and he also judged the British and American shows simultaneously for several years, criss-crossing the Atlantic weekly. He stepped down as the show’s head judge in November 2022 to focus on his family and retirement.