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'Dancing with the Stars' cast pays heartfelt tribute to Len Goodman: 'A special soul'

The longtime judge died peacefully over the weekend after a battle with bone cancer. He is now remembered by family, friends, fans, co-judges and dancers.

'Dancing with the Stars' cast pays heartfelt tribute to Len Goodman: 'A special soul'
Cover Image Source: "Dancing With The Stars" Judge Len Goodman attends the premiere of Walt Disney's "Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End" held at Disneyland on May 19, 2007 (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)

The cast and crew of "Dancing with the Stars" are paying tributes to Len Goodman, who died on April 22 at the age of 78. Goodman was the head judge of "DWTS" for most of the show's history, critiquing more than 3,000 routines on the show.

He died peacefully over the weekend after a battle with bone cancer and is now remembered by family, friends, fans, co-judges and dancers for his jolly nature and sense of humor. According to ABC News, Goodman stepped down as a head judge on "DWTS" in November 2022 after 31 seasons. "It has been a huge pleasure to be a part of such a wonderful show," he said at the time. "It's been such a wonderful experience for me."


Goodman was a mentor and friend to many on the show, including fellow judge Derek Hough, who said he was "filled with gratitude knowing I had the privilege of working beside this absolute legend" after news of Goodman's death was made public.

"But when I think back at the memories we all shared with Len, his sense of humor, his smile and charm, everything feels much brighter and full of sunshine," Hough wrote on Instagram. "We will miss you dearly, Len. We love you." According to TODAY, fellow judge Carrie Ann Inaba captioned a photo and video montage of Goodman saying, "A Dancer. A teacher. A refined gentleman. A wonderful storyteller. A special soul. A mentor. A family man. And... A treasured friend." 


Bruno Tonioli, who judged alongside Goodman on "DWTS" and the BBC's "Strictly Come Dancing," also paid homage to him. “Heartbroken my dear friend and partner for 19 years, and the only ballroom legend #lengoodman passed away,” he captioned a picture of them together. “I will treasure the memory of our incredible adventures and hundreds of shows we did together, and there will never be anyone like you. We will miss you.”

Meanwhile, host Tom Bergeron wrote alongside a photo collage featuring several images of Goodman: “A Good Man, indeed.” Former "Dancing with the Stars" winner Kym Johnson-Herjavec shared how decent a man Goodman was.




“Heartbroken. Heavens gates are covered in ten paddles and mirror balls today,” Johnson-Herjavec wrote alongside a photo of her with her arms around Goodman’s neck. “Nothing made you feel better than getting a ten from Len. He was a class act with a cheeky grin and quick wit. You will be so missed. Rest in peace, sweet Len.”

Dancer Keo Motsepe, who appeared on multiple seasons of "DWTS," shared a photo of him laughing while watching Goodman dance. “Rest well, Sir Len. You will be missed.” Louis van Amstel, who also appeared on multiple seasons of "DWTS," mourned Goodman's passing. “The dance world has lost a true legend. Rest in peace, Len,” van Amstel wrote.




Emma Slater, dancer and choreographer from "DWTS," shared her condolences saying, "RIP Len Goodman." The "DWTS" pro wrote in an Instagram post: "You are the father of ballroom, and you kept us all in line. But my personality shone the most, and you always had it. Glad I got to tell you what an impact you have had on me and how much I admire you. We will miss you so much Len, and this was your ballroom."

Disney+, the home of "DWTS" since its last season, also released a statement on Instagram. "Len Goodman will always be an icon in the world of ballroom dance, and we were lucky to have him as part of our ‘Dancing with the Stars’ family for 31 seasons," the streaming service wrote. "He was warm and caring, and always delivered genuine guidance. We are devastated by the news of his passing and our hearts are with his family during this very difficult time."


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