Len Goodman will have a permanent place in the Dancing With the Stars ballroom. The beloved judge and former professional dancer died on April 22, 2023 after privately battling bone cancer. He was 78.
In a new interview, DWTS executive producer Conrad Green shares that the coveted mirrorball trophy has been renamed in Goodman’s honor.
“The Len Goodman Mirrorball Trophy will now be lifted on Dancing With the Stars like the Vince Lombardi trophy is lifted at the Super Bowl,” Green tells USA Today. “We wanted to make Len a permanent part of this show, to always remind people the importance he’s had to Dancing With the Stars and how much he meant to all of us.”
The dedication of the trophy will take place during the season 32 premiere of the reality dancing competition on Sept. 26 and is set to be “a really moving moment,” Green says.
“Len loves this show and will always be there, looking down on us,” the producer shares.
Goodman’s influence on the long-running show was reiterated by past and present cast members alike.
Former Dancing With the Stars host Tom Bergeron told ET, “No disrespect to Bruno [Tonioli], Carrie Ann [Inaba], Derek [Hough], or Julianne [Hough] back to when she was a judge, but I think they too would agree that it was Len’s critique and opinion that everybody valued most.”
Goodman appeared as a judge on DWTS from 2005 until 2022. He also served as a founding judge on the British dance competition, Strictly Come Dancing, from 2004 to 2016. He announced his retirement from DWTS in November 2022.
Goodman was a former dancer himself, winning the British Championships in his 20s before ending his dancing career to become a professional judge.