Len Goodman: Strictly Come Dancing star's age, cause of death and family

24 April 2023, 09:50 | Updated: 24 April 2023, 11:03

2013: Len Goodman attends photocall at Strictly studios

How old was Len Goodman and who was his wife? A look back the life of the Strictly Come Dancing star...

Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

Showbiz legend Len Goodman has sadly passed away, it was announced today. The Strictly Come Dancing star was hugely popular after starring on the show for over a decade.

As we remember Len, here's a look back at his wife, family and career...

Len Goodman's cause of death

Len Goodman has sadly died aged 78 from bone cancer and passed away on Saturday night.

A spokeswoman for Len told MailOnline: “I can confirm he died peacefully over the weekend surrounded by his family.”

He previously suffered from prostate cancer and had surgery amidst filming for Strictly back in 2008.

His death will be mourned by all his showbiz friends after a career spanning six decades.

Len Goodman was a Strictly Come Dancing legend
Len Goodman was a Strictly Come Dancing legend. Picture: Getty Images

He was born in London, on 25th April 1944, and started out as an apprentice welder at Harland and Wolff in Woolwich.

Fans have been quick to share their condolences, with one writing: “Best judge ever on that programme he made me belly laugh with his comments. Lovely man he will be sadly missed.”

“Aww I'm saddened to hear of the passing of Mr Strictly (Len Goodman) Another bright light of show biz has gone out #RIPLen,” said someone else.

A third added: “R.I.P Len Goodman thoughts are with he's family and friends at this sad time.”

Remembering Len Goodman on Heart Breakfast

Who is Len Goodman's wife?

Len was married to his partner of more than ten years, 47-year-old dance teacher Sue Barrett. The couple wed in 2016, in a small ceremony at a London dining club.

Before that, Len married his dancing partner, Cherry Kingston, but they were later divorced.

He then had a long-term relationship with a woman named Lesley and they had a son, James in 1981. Len also has two grandchildren.

Len Goodman was on Dancing with the Stars
Len Goodman was on Dancing with the Stars. Picture: Getty Images

Len Goodman’s career

Len Goodman started dancing aged 20, after his doctor recommended it to help him recover from a foot injury.

He was a clear natural and this kicked off his competitive dancing career in the 1970s, where he one Dual of the Giants, British Rising Stars, The British Exhibition Championships (four times) and the World Exhibition Championships.

He went on to start the Goodman Dance Academy in Kent and in 2004 he joined Strictly Come Dancing.

As the head judge, Len was hugely popular with fans until he decided to leave in 2016 and was succeeded by Shirley Ballas.

He also made many TV and radio appearances and starred in the Strictly Live Tour for many years.

Len Goodman will be sadly missed by fans
Len Goodman will be sadly missed by fans. Picture: Getty Images

The star also wrote his own book 'Better Late Than Never: From Barrow Boy to Ballroom' and went on write two more books.

Also popular across the pond, Len starred in America’s Dancing With The Stars until he hung up his role last year.

“This will be my last season judging Dancing With the Stars,” he said.

“I've been on the show since it started in 2005, and it has been a huge pleasure to be a part of such a wonderful show but I've decided I want to spend more time with my grandchildren and family back in Britain.”