“It is with great sadness to announce that Len Goodman has passed away peacefully, aged 78,” Goodman’s rep said in an April 24 statement obtained by NBC News. “A much loved husband, father and grandfather who will be sorely missed by family, friends and all who knew him.”
The Strictly Come Dancing veteran lost his fight with bone cancer on April 22 while receiving hospice care, “surrounded by his family,” according to BBC News.
Goodman, who started dancing professionally as a young adult, presided as a judge on the well-known BBC competition series Strictly Come Dancing from its debut in 2004 until 2016. Likewise, when the American television program Dancing With the Stars debuted on ABC in 2005, Goodman—along with fellow judges Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli—became a cherished member of the cast and after 17 seasons had previously retired in November.
“While we are all getting excited and looking forward so much to the finale next week, it will also be with a touch of sadness,” he said during the Nov. 14 episode. “As this will be my last season judging on Dancing With the Stars.”
“I’ve been with the show since it started in 2005,” he continued. “It has been a huge pleasure to be a part of such a wonderful show. I’ve decided I’d like to spend more time with my grandchildren and family back in Britain.”