The Dancing With the Stars community is sharing their condolences after the loss of judge Len Goodman, who died on April 22 at age 78. Donny Osmond, who won season 9 of the series, posted a touching tribute on Instagram to the TV personality.
“So saddened by the news of Len Goodman’s passing,” the singer captioned a video full of clips of Len praising his performances. “A huge loss in the world of dancing. Sending prayers to his family and loved ones.”
Donny competed in the reality competition series with pro dancer Kym Johnson, who also shared a touching tribute to Len on Instagram.
“Heartbroken. Heaven’s gates are covered in 10 paddles and Mirrorballs today,” the ballroom dancer penned alongside a photo with her late costar. “Nothing made you feel better than getting a 10 from Len. He was a class act with a cheeky grin and quick wit. You will be so missed. Rest in peace, sweet Len.”
The dance icon was surrounded by his family at a hospice in Kent, England, at the time of his death.
“It is with great sadness to announce that Len Goodman has passed away peacefully, aged 78,” his manager, Jackie Gill, confirmed in a statement to BBC on Monday, April 24. “A much-loved husband, father and grandfather who will be sorely missed by family, friends and all who knew him.”
Len served as a judge on DWTS from 2005 to 2022 before announcing his retirement from the program.
“I’ve been with 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’d like to spend more time with my grandchildren and family back in Britain,” he said during a November 2022 episode of the series.
The Strictly Come Dancing judge married his wife, Sue Barrett, in 2012. He was a father to one son, James William Goodman, whom he welcomed during a previous relationship. James and his wife, Sophie Goodman, are the parents of two children, Alice and Dan.
Other former DWTS cast members spoke out about Len’s passing, including Donny’s sister, Marie Osmond, who competed during season 5.
“Loved the times I spent getting to know Len on Dancing With the Stars!” she captioned a video montage on Instagram. “I’m so sad to hear of his passing. He was a true gentleman!!! My heart and prayers go out to his family at such a difficult time.”