Dancing With the Stars' Len Goodman Tangos With Cancer

65-year-old ballroom judge recovering from surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in his prostate

By Breanne L. Heldman Jun 29, 2009 2:36 PMTags

If Len Goodman appeared to be struggling to award 10s to Dancing With the Stars finalists Shawn Johnson, Gilles Marini and Melissa Rycroft, the fault may not have been entirely in the dancing. The center judge himself was in the midst of a much headier battle than the one for the disco ball trophy.

The 65-year-old ballroom dance expert has admitted he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in March, but tells Britain's Mail on Sunday the disease was caught early at an annual checkup and, after surgery, he feels "right as rain."

Rather than have the cancerous tumor removed immediately upon discovery, Goodman chose to put on a brave—if occasionally snarky—face and continue his lead judge role on the hit ABC series.

"I could have said 'sorry' and not done the show, but the doctors felt I wasn't riddled with it and it wasn't so far advanced that it was a life-or-death scenario," he tells the newspaper. "It takes a few weeks to get everything set up for the operation anyway, so I went ahead and did the show. I had the surgery done as soon as I got back from America.

"I feel good," he continues. "I was obviously worried at the start. We all worry if we get something like this."

He also admits he didn't want to worry fans or colleagues, so he kept his diagnosis to himself.

"[It was] not necessary to blabber it out to everyone," he says.

After four days in the hospital and several weeks of recuperation, the star claims the time away from his favorite pastime has been the biggest downside to the cancer scare.

"You can't play golf, which is the biggest blow at the moment." he says.

"We wish him a speedy and complete recovery and look forward to having him back for season nine of Dancing with the Stars," the show's executive producer, Conrad Green, tells E! News.

Goodman's bravery sounds like a performance worthy of a perfect score...and giant sigh of relief.


We think Len would give us at least a 9 for our Twittering @eonline!