Ginger Zee Pays Tribute to Late 'DWTS' Judge Len Goodman

Good Morning America meteorologist Ginger Zee was among those paying tribute to the late Dancing With the Stars judge Len Goodman. The head judge, who retired from the show in November 2022, died over the weekend at 78 after a battle with bone cancer. Zee competed on DWTS in 2016, finishing in third place with pro dancer Val Chmerkovskiy.

"Len's reality that he brought to competition television will be missed," Zee said on Monday's GMA broadcast. "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."

Zee also shared clips from her time on DWTS on Instagram, including a segment where she got to dance with Goodman. "He brought the reality to competition tv and always had a sparkle in his eye even when delivering tough news," Zee captioned the post. "I was always so grateful for the 'not everyone gets a participation ribbon/score' part of Len because it helped me and others grow. Sending Len's family, friends, and the entire [DWTS] family love, light & peace."

Goodman served as head judge on DWTS from the moment the show launched on ABC in 2005, with fellow judges Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli. He remained on the show even after it switched to Disney+, but announced plans to retire at the end of Season 31. Goodman also judged the original series, Strictly Come Dancing, in his native U.K., from 2004 to 2016.

"Heartbroken my dear friend and partner for 19 years the one and only ballroom legend [Len Goodman] passed away," Tonioni wrote on Instagram. "I will treasure the memory of our incredible adventures and hundreds of shows we did together [Strictly and DWTS] they will never be anyone like you we will miss you."

Inaba published a collection of clips and photos set to "Until We Meet Again" by Louyah. "A Dancer. A teacher. A refined gentleman. A wonderful storyteller. A special soul. A mentor. A family man. And... A treasured friend," Inaba wrote. "Saying goodbye at the end of last season broke my heart. But today's news has shattered it all over again. 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," Inaba continued. "Thank you for all that you shared with us. Your humor, your wisdom, your wit, and your truth. Until we meet again... Rest In Peace, Len."

Goodman died on April 22 in hospice care in Kent, England. He is survived by his second wife, Sue Barrett, and a son from a previous relationship, James William Goodman. Outside of DWTS and Stricly, Goodman was also a commentator for Eurovision Dance Contest and hosted Len Goodman's Partners in Rhyme and Holiday of My Lifetime.