HomeEntertainmentLen Goodman, decide on ‘Dancing With the Stars,’ dies at 78

Len Goodman, decide on ‘Dancing With the Stars,’ dies at 78

Len Goodman, a British ballroom dancer identified to thousands and thousands of American tv viewers because the cockney-accented decide on “Dancing With the Stars,” the favored actuality competitors present, died April 22 at a hospice heart in Kent, England. He was 78.

The trigger was bone most cancers, stated his agent, Jackie Gill.

Mr. Goodman, who started his skilled life as a shipyard welder within the docks of London, jokingly described himself as a “star that by no means twinkled.”

He took up ballroom dancing at 19 after buddies persuaded him to tag together with them to bounce studios, he advised the Chicago Solar-Occasions, by uttering “the magic phrases”: “There’s a great deal of women — and no guys.”

Mr. Goodman grew to become a standout in exhibition dancing, successful British and world championships. He soared to fame in Britain in 2004 when he grew to become a decide on the BBC present “Strictly Come Dancing,” a scores powerhouse that was spun off the next yr on ABC as “Dancing With the Stars.”

Just like the BBC authentic, “Dancing With the Stars” options celebrities — if not at all times of A-list fame, then solidly or at the least tentatively within the B-list class — who had been paired with skilled dance companions in performances earlier than an viewers and a judging panel.

Mr. Goodman grew to become a mainstay of each applications, judging on “Strictly Come Dancing” by way of 2016 and on “Dancing With the Stars” till he stepped down final November. For years he maintained a residence in Los Angeles, jetting forwards and backwards throughout the Atlantic.

Mr. Goodman distributed one-liners that made him an viewers favourite from his earliest days on BBC. “You floated throughout that flooring like butter on a crumpet,” he advised British singer Frankie Bridge of her finely rendered fox trot on “Strictly Come Dancing.”

A much less spectacular efficiency by former BBC chief political correspondent John Sergeant, Mr. Goodman opined, was “extra ha-ha-ha than cha-cha-cha.”

By bringing his witticisms and Britishisms to america, noticed Robert Thompson, a scholar of standard tradition, Mr. Goodman “always served up an concept of what People nonetheless consider as … British.”

“He was folksy,” stated Thompson, a professor at Syracuse College. “However he additionally had that sure sense of classiness that comes with even a non-queen’s English British dialect.”

Celebrities who’ve appeared through the years on “Dancing With the Stars” included cleaning soap opera actress Kelly Monaco, Joey McIntyre of the boy band “New Children on the Block,” boxing champion Evander Holyfield, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, chef Paula Deen, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and, in an notorious run, Sean Spicer, as soon as the White Home press secretary for President Donald Trump.

For a lot of seasons, the “Dancing With the Stars” judging panel consisted of Mr. Goodman and two colleagues, dancer-choreographers Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli. However “there was a way,” stated Thompson, that Mr. Goodman “was sort of its anchor.”

He was direct in his judgments however by no means merciless, typically providing an encouraging phrase and acknowledging that the movie star contestants, regardless of the high quality of their efficiency, weren’t skilled dancers.

“I like them a lot for his or her pluck and their guts,” he advised the New York Occasions in 2005. “Think about in the event you had somebody who’s by no means performed golf. And also you stated to him, ‘You’ve received six weeks to study the sport and also you’re going to play with Tiger Woods and also you’re going to have 15 million folks watching it. Dwell.’ The considered it’s unimaginable.”

Leonard Gordon Goodman was born on April 25, 1944, and spent his early years in Kent and the East Finish of London.

He labored at his grandfather’s produce stand earlier than discovering a job on the shipbuilding agency Harland and Wolff. He left that job to pursue skilled dancing and later ran the Goodman Dance Academy in Dartford, England.

Along with serving as a decide on the 2 dance TV applications, Mr. Goodman was a presenter for BBC radio applications and made a 2012 PBS documentary concerning the sinking in 1912 of the Titanic ocean liner, which had been constructed by Harland and Wolff.

Mr. Goodman’s marriage to dancer Cherry Kingston resulted in divorce.

He was married in 2012 to Sue Barrett. In addition to his spouse, of Kent, survivors embrace a son from one other relationship, James Goodman, additionally of Kent; and two grandchildren.

Mr. Goodman was the writer of books together with the memoir “Higher Late Than By no means: From Barrow Boy to Ballroom” (2008), written with Richard Havers.

He noticed, within the later a long time of his life, a substantial rise within the reputation of ballroom dancing. It was largely the results of his tv ambassadorship.

“If Arthur Murray introduced ballroom dancing to early tv,” Thompson stated, referring to the ballroom dancer and founding father of the namesake dance studio chain, “I feel Len Goodman was the one who introduced it to extra up to date tv.”

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