Dancing With the Stars’ Len Goodman Dead at 78

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The Dancing With the Stars family has lost one of its own.

Len Goodman, the former head judge who announced his departure from the series in November, has died.

“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.”

According to BBC News, a manager for the Strictly Come Dancing alum shared that Goodman battled bone cancer and died in hospice care April 22 “surrounded by his family.”

Goodman, who began his professional dancing career as a teen, served as a judge on the popular BBC competition series Strictly Come Dancing from its launch in 2004 until 2016. Simultaneously, Goodman—along with fellow judges Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli—became a beloved part of the United States’ series Dancing With the Stars when it premiered on ABC in 2005.

In November, after 17 years on Dancing With the Stars, Goodman officially announced his exit from the show.

“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.”

Goodman went on to praise his fellow judges, including dancer Derek Hough who returned to the show during season 29.

“I cannot thank you enough, the Dancing With the Stars family,” he continued. “It’s been such a wonderful experience for me.”

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