Len Goodman, the long-serving head judge of "Dancing with the Stars," has died at 78, his manager told ABC News.
"Len died on Saturday evening surrounded by his family in a hospice in Kent. He has bone cancer. He kept his sense of humour throughout his illness and was a 'true gentleman,'" his manager said in a statement Monday.
Goodman, who was also a judge on the British reality competition "Strictly Come Dancing," stepped down as head judge on "Dancing with the Stars" in November 2022 after 31 seasons.
"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," he said at the time.
He added, "But I've decided I'd like to spend more time with my grandchildren and family back in Britain. I cannot thank you enough, the 'Dancing with the Stars' family. It's been such a wonderful experience for me."
"Good Morning America" meteorologist Ginger Zee recalled having the opportunity to dance with Goodman during her season of "DWTS."
"Len's reality that he brought to competition television will be missed," she said on Monday. "You had to grow and he made you grow. And that I appreciated then, I appreciated in all the seasons I've watched, but that's how he was. That sparkle he had, even when delivering tough news."
Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli, Goodman's longtime fellow judges on "DWTS," also paid their respects for their colleague and friend.
"Heart broken my dear friend and partner for 19 years the one and only ballroom legend #lengoodman passed away," Tonioli shared on Instagram. "I will treasure the memory of our incredible adventures and hundreds of shows we did together @bbcstrictly @dancingwiththestars they will never be anyone like you we will miss you."
Inaba shared a heartfelt tribute to Instagram, calling Goodman "a dancer. A teacher. A refined gentleman. A wonderful storyteller. A special soul. A mentor. A family man. And … a treasured friend."
"Saying goodbye at the end of last season broke my heart," she continued. "But today's news has shattered it all over again. I can't believe that you're gone."
Inaba added, "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."