Speed Reads


Len Goodman, Dancing with the Stars judge, dies at 78

Len Goodman, the dancer and longtime Dancing with the Stars judge, has died. He was 78. 

Goodman's agent confirmed to The Associated Press he "passed away peacefully" on Saturday after battling bone cancer. 

Goodman was a professional ballroom dancer who started dancing when he was 19, and in 2004, he began serving as head judge of the BBC dance competition show Strictly Come Dancing. The show was brought to the U.S. as Dancing with the Stars in 2005, with Goodman again serving as head judge. He announced his retirement from the show last year. 

"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," he told People at the time. "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!"

Goodman added that he would "miss the California sunshine, working with my fellow judges and the camaraderie with everyone on the show." On Dancing with the Stars last year, he said it has "been a huge pleasure to be a part of such a wonderful show," but "I've decided I'd like to spend my time with my grandchildren and family back in Britain." 

Dancing with the Stars judge Bruno Tonioli paid tribute to "my dear friend and partner for 19 years," writing that there "will never be anyone like you you will always be my perfect 10," while Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood honored his "gorgeous colleague and dear friend." Buckingham Palace also said queen consort Camilla was "saddened" by the news, and BBC director-general Tim Davie mourned the "wonderful, warm entertainer who was adored by millions."