Apr. 25th, 1944
Bethnal Green, London, England, UK
Len Goodman's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Leonard Gordon Goodman (born April 25, 1944) is a British professional ballroom dancer, dance judge, and coach. He is a leading personality on television dance programs such as Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing with the Stars and runs a ballroom dance school in Dartford, Kent.
Born in Bromley, Kent the son of Louisa Adelaide (née Eldridge) and Leonard Gordon Goodman, an electrician. One of his maternal great-great-grandfathers was a Polish immigrant.
Goodman moved to Blackfen near Welling (then in Kent) when he was six years old and attended Westwood Secondary Modern School where he was a member of the cricket team. He started dancing at the age of 19 after a short time as an apprentice welder (for Harland and Wolff in Woolwich). He tried dancing only in an attempt to recover from a foot injury sustained while playing football. He turned professional, won various competitions, and retired from dancing after winning the British Championships at Blackpool in his late twenties. He is a recipient of the Carl Alan Award, in recognition of outstanding contributions to dance. In 2006 and 2007, he was nominated for the Emmy Award in the Outstanding Reality/Competition Program category.
Since Strictly Come Dancing began in 2004, Goodman has appeared as head judge on the television dance competition for BBC One in the UK. He has appeared in all series of the show and as of the 2013 series, Len appears on the panel alongside Darcey Bussell, 'Bruno Tonioli' and Craig Revel Horwood.
Goodman is one of the four judges on the Strictly Come Dancing American adaptation, Dancing with the Stars. He has appeared in all series of the programme since 2005 respectively. The other judges are 'Carrie Ann Inaba' and 'Bruno Tonioli', and since 2014, 'Julianne Hough'.
For the 100th anniversary of the voyage and sinking of RMS Titanic, Goodman hosted a three-part BBC One documentary, shown from March 30 - April 9, 2012. It capitalised on his experience as a welder at Harland and Wolff. It was broadcast in the United States by PBS. Len interviewed descendants of survivors and introduced viewers to memorials and significant sites in the United Kingdom.
In 2013, Len presented the BBC Four programme Len Goodman's Dance Band Days. He also hosted Len Goodman's Perfect Christmas on Boxing Day (December 26, 2013) for 45-minutes on BBC One. He has recently been prominent in advertising his favourite food emporium Farm Foods with his catchphrase "It gets a ten from Len" In addition to his TV work in 2013 and 2014 he has presented a Sunday evening music show on BBC Radio 2 during abcenses of Paul O'Grady where he has played music he grew up with mostly of an easy nature together with his spoken memories of his young life and family.
He married his dancing partner, Cherry Kingston, but they were later divorced. He then had a long term relationship with a woman named Lesley who, he wrote, "decided to give up nursing and live with me and help me run the dance school — which was great, because she was full of ideas. Things rolled along pretty nicely for a year until out of the blue Lesley dropped a bombshell. She was pregnant!" Goodman was 36 at this time. Lesley, he wrote, was the ex-wife of "a bloke called Wilf Pine who had managed the band "Black Sabbath". Lesley and Wilf got married in Connecticut...." Goodman and Lesley's son James William Goodman (b. January 26, 1981), but at age 12 moved with his mother back to her native Isle of Wight after Lesley and Goodman broke up.
As of 2012, James teaches Latin and ballroom dancing at his father's Goodman Dance Centre. Goodman married his companion of over ten years, Sue Barrett, a 47-year-old dance teacher, in a small ceremony at a London dining club Mosimann's on (December 30, 2012).
Goodman is a West Ham United fan and was featured on the BBC football magazine show Football Focus on September 26, 2009. He is also a keen cricket fan, and in 2009 took part in a celebrity Ashes cricket game.
Goodman was diagnosed with prostate cancer in March 2009, which was treated surgically at a London hospital.
In October 2011 Goodman appeared on the 2011 series of the UK's celebrity genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are?, in which he discovered that one of his maternal ancestors was a silk-weaver who died a pauper in the Bethnal Green workhouse. His great great grandfather Wincenty Sosnowski came from Poland,where he fought in the anti-tsarist November Uprising for which he was awarded Virtuti Militari, Poland's highest military decoration for heroism and courage.