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Len Goodman, longtime ‘Dancing with the Stars’ judge, dead at 78

In this photo from Oct. 10, 2013, Len Goodman meets fans and signs copies of his book 'Lost London: A Personal Journey' at Waterstones Bluewater in Greenhithe, England. (Simon Burchell/Getty Images/TNS)

Len Goodman, the fan-favorite former head judge on “Dancing with the Stars,” has died at age 78, his manager announced Monday.

The London-born Goodman died Saturday in hospice care in Kent, England, following a battle with bone cancer, according to the BBC.

Goodman was “a much loved husband, father and grandfather who will be sorely missed by family, friends and all who knew him,” manager Jackie Gill said in a statement.

Goodman, a former professional ballroom dancer, starred as head judge of the British reality show “Strictly Come Dancing” from 2004 to 2016 and its U.S. spinoff, “Dancing with the Stars,” from 2005 until last year.

Goodman’s distinct way of announcing a contestant received a score of seven — with an emphasis on the latter syllable — became a staple of his judging persona, as did his upbeat descriptions of performances.

“You floated across that floor like butter on a crumpet,” Goodman once told a competitor on “Strictly.”

Goodman announced his retirement from “Dancing with the Stars” in November, saying during the show’s 31st season that he wanted to “spend more time with my grandchildren and family back in Britain.”

“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,” Goodman said at the time.

In addition to his on-air achievements, Goodman ran a dance school in Kent. He was honored with the Carl Alan Award for his contributions to the dance industry.

“I will treasure the memories of our adventures,” Bruno Tonioli, who judged alongside Goodman on “Dancing with the Stars” and “Strictly Come Dancing,” tweeted Monday.

“There will never be anyone like you,” Tonioli continued. “You will always be my perfect 10.”

Fellow original “Dancing with the Stars” judge Carrie Ann Inaba remembered Goodman in an Instagram tribute as a “refined gentleman,” a “wonderful storyteller” and a “special soul.”

“Saying goodbye at the end of last season broke my heart. But today’s news has shattered it all over again,” Inaba wrote. “I can’t believe that you’re gone. You were one of a kind my dear friend. And I will cherish our memories and hold them close, while I join so many others in mourning your loss. Thank you for all that you shared with us. Your humor, your wisdom, your wit and your truth.”


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