The lights were dimmed on the Dancing with the Stars stage today as the show said goodbye to its former head judge, Len Goodman.
Len passed away peacefully on April 22, as previously reported by Monsters and Critics. He was 78 years old.
Len was a part of the hit reality dance show for 17 years before officially announcing his retirement in November of last year.
Growing such a loving fanbase amongst viewers, performers, and staff members of the show, Len’s passing has been met with a number of heartwarming tributes from those whose lives he had inevitably touched.
Some, in particular, included the stars he shared the judges’ table with.
On Monday, fellow judges Derek Hough, Carrie Ann Inaba, and Bruno Tonioli all took to social media to commemorate Len’s legacy.
Derek Hough shows gratitude over knowing ‘absolute legend’ Len Goodman
Derek, a professional DWTS dancer turned judge, was one of the first to show his gratitude for everything Len had taught him over the years.
He shared a carousel of photos and videos of him alongside the head judge, with one clip showing Len hilariously playing along with a bit and “strutting” his stuff.
“It’s a gloomy morning here in Los Angeles which seems fitting after this heart breaking news,” Derek wrote in part. “But when I think back at the memories we all shared with Len, his sense of humor, his smile and charm everything feels much brighter and full of sunshine.”
“Still hard to fully process but filled with gratitude knowing I had the privilege of working beside this absolute legend. We will miss you dearly Len,” he continued.
Derek’s sister and former DWTS judge, Julianne Hough, also took to Instagram to share her words on Len’s passing.
Julianne detailed her first experience of meeting Len when she was only ten years old and how much of an influence he had on her career as a dancer.
Carrie Ann Inaba calls Len a ‘special soul’ on Dancing with the Stars
While they may have sat at opposite ends of the judges’ table, Carrie Ann also showed her appreciation for Len in another touching post.
“A Dancer. A teacher. A refined gentleman. A wonderful storyteller. A special soul. A mentor. A family man. And… A treasured friend,” she wrote before saying the news of his passing had “shattered” her heart once again.
She continued, “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.”
Carrie’s post was composed of different video clips and photos from the years they spent on the show together, which was appropriately backed by the song Until We Meet Again by Louyah.
Bruno Tonioli says there will ‘never be anyone like you’
Bruno, the most charismatic judge to ever grace a competition series, took to Instagram to commemorate his 19 years of friendship with Len.
“Heart broken my dear friend and partner for 19 years the one and only ballroom legend #lengoodman passed away 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,” he wrote.
Bruno also shared a photo of the two smiling while embracing in a tight-gripped hug.
While Len leaves behind an illustrious career as a professional dancer and judge, he also leaves behind a legacy of being an impactful friend and mentor to many.
Dancing with the Stars is currently on hiatus.