Len Goodman

Birth Day April 25th, 1944
Birth Place Farnborough, Kent
Age 80 Years Old
Zodiac Sign Taurus

About Len Goodman

Len Goodman was a prominent figure in the world of dance. He began his career as a professional ballroom dancer and went on to become a successful dance teacher and competition adjudicator. His most notable work was as head judge on the popular UK television program Strictly Come Dancing, where he provided expert commentary and critiques to the celebrity contestants. He was also the head judge on the U.S. television program Dancing with the Stars, where he continued to showcase his expertise and charm. Alongside his judging and TV work, Len also ran a successful ballroom dance school in Dartford, Kent. His passion for dance and commitment to promoting the art form earned him a place as a beloved figure in the dance community. His contributions to the world of dance will not be forgotten, and his legacy will continue to inspire dancers and enthusiasts for years to come. 

Len Goodman Early Life & Family

Len Goodman, whose birth name was Leonard Gordon Goodman, was born on April 25, 1944, in Farnborough, Kent, England. His family later moved to Bethnal Green, East London, where his grandfather worked as a costermonger, and then to Blackfen when he was six years old. His father, Leonard Gordon Goodman, was an electrician, and his mother, Louisa Adelaide (née Eldridge) Goodman, was a homemaker. Len held British nationality and belonged to the British-White ethnicity. In 2022, he celebrated his 78th birthday. Len attended Westwood Secondary Modern School, where he played cricket on the school team.

Len Goodman Career

  • After working as an apprentice welder for Harland and Wolff in Woolwich, Len Goodman began dancing at the age of 19 on the recommendation of his doctor as therapy for a foot injury.
  • Goodman quickly excelled and went on to become a professional dancer, winning various competitions and eventually retiring from dancing after winning the British Championships at Blackpool in his late twenties. He was recognized for his contributions to dance with the Carl Alan Award and appeared in Emmy-nominated shows in 2006 and 2007 in the Outstanding Reality/Competition Program category.
  • Goodman was the head judge on the BBC One dance competition Strictly Come Dancing from 2004 to 2016. He was joined on the panel by Arlene Phillips, Bruno Tonioli, and Craig Revel Horwood. After leaving the show at the end of the 2016 series, he was replaced by Shirley Ballas.
  • Goodman was the sole head judge on the American adaptation of Strictly Come Dancing, Dancing with the Stars, from the show's beginning. He was joined by fellow judges Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli, as well as alternating fourth judges Julianne Hough and Derek Hough. Although he did not judge seasons 21 and 29, he presented segments on dance styles during the latter. On 14th November 2022, on the season 31 semifinals broadcast, Goodman announced his retirement from the show to spend more time with his family in Great Britain.
  • Len Goodman has had a diverse career in television beyond his role as a judge on Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing with the Stars. In 2005, Goodman voiced Professor in the five-time Emmy Award–winning children's program, "Auto-B-Good".
  • He has hosted several BBC programs, including a documentary series about the Titanic, Len Goodman's Dance Band Days, Len Goodman's Perfect Christmas, Dancing Cheek to Cheek, and Holiday of My Lifetime. He has also presented shows such as Secrets from the Clink and Len and Ainsley's Big Food Adventure, and in 2017 he hosted the game show Partners in Rhyme. In 2021, he made a guest appearance on the Channel 4 soap opera Hollyoaks.
  • From 2013 to 2018, Goodman substituted for Paul O'Grady on his Sunday afternoon music program on BBC Radio 2, playing songs from his youth. He later hosted three holiday-themed broadcasts for Boom Radio in 2021.
  • In 2006, Goodman won £8,050 for his hospice care charity Demelza by beating Stacey Haynes in an all-singing/dancing version of The Weakest Link. He also published his autobiography, Better Late Than Never, co-written with Richard Havers, in 2008.

Len Goodman Married & Children

Len Goodman was married twice in his life. His first marriage was to his dancing partner, Cherry Kingston, and they remained together for 15 years before separating in 1987. Len and his second wife, Sue Barnett, got married in 2012 after dating for over a decade. Sue Barnett is a dance teacher by profession. The couple had a small private wedding ceremony at Mosimann’s dining club in London. Len also had a son named James William Goodman who was born on 26th January 1981, with his first wife. James initially lived with his mother after the separation but later joined his father to become a Latin and ballroom dancing teacher at his school. 

Len Goodman Death Cause

Len Goodman passed away on 22 April 2023 at the age of 78, just three days before his 79th birthday, after battling bone cancer. He was in a hospice in Royal Tunbridge Wells at the time of his death. His death was confirmed by his family, who said in a statement that they were "devastated" and asked for privacy during this difficult time.

Many of his colleagues and friends from the entertainment industry paid tribute to him on social media. Fellow Strictly judge Bruno Tonioli wrote a heartfelt message on social media, saying that he was "heartbroken" and calling Len "the one and only ballroom legend". Strictly presenter Claudia Winkleman also shared her condolences and praised Len as "a class act" who brought "twinkle, warmth and wit" to every show he was a part of.

Len Goodman Net Worth

Len Goodman was a successful professional ballroom dancer, dance teacher, and competition adjudicator who had a net worth of $18M (£14.5M) at the time of his death in 2023. He had an impressive portfolio of homes in both Britain and America. Len retired from competing in the early 1970s and became a household name in 2004 as the head judge on Strictly Come Dancing. He was also the head judge on Dancing With The Stars in the US, flying back and forth between the two countries. He left Strictly in 2016 but continued to do DWTS. Len made his fortune through his TV work in the UK and the US, including a £250K per series salary as head judge of Strictly and reportedly up to $1.2M (£963K) for a season on DWTS. He would also have made money as a professional ballroom dancer. His main source of wealth was from his dance career and the entertainment industry. He lived his life to the fullest. 

Len Goodman Height & Weight

Len Goodman was a slim and tall dancer, standing at 6 ft 0.5 in or 184 cm and weighing around 80 kg or 176.5 lbs. He had dark brown hair, which turned gray due to advancing age, and green eyes. One of his distinctive features was his tall height and wide nose tip. Despite his advancing age, Len was known for his fit physique and continued to dance and teach ballroom dancing until his retirement. In March 2009, Goodman was diagnosed with prostate cancer, which was treated surgically at a London hospital. In 2020, he underwent surgery for a small facial melanoma. He was often praised for his impeccable posture and smooth movements on the dance floor, which were a testament to his years of experience and dedication to the art of dance.

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