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Carrie Ann Inaba makes devastating revelation about DWTS one year on from co-star Len Goodman's death

The DWTS judge has opened up about her deep friendship with her late co-star

Hanna Fillingham
US Managing Editor
23 April 2024
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Carrie Ann Inaba has given an incredible insight into her time working with the late Len Goodman, one year on from his death. 

The talented dancer was one third of the judging panel with Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli for many years, and the trio formed a tight-knit friendship. 

Carrie has reflected on one of the things she misses the most about Len in an emotional tribute. 

Chatting to People, the star said: "What I miss most about him is that right before every show, we would all hold hands, Len, Bruno, and I. The three of us would always take a moment before every show to connect. 

"We'd hold hands, we’d look into each other’s eyes, and we would wish each other good luck and say I love you. We NEVER missed doing that, not once, in all the years of shows we did together, and this created such a deep connection between the three of us." 

Dancing with the Stars judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman, and Bruno Tonioli© Getty Images
Dancing with the Stars judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman, and Bruno Tonioli

Carrie also admitted that her and Len would often "disagree" but that is what made the judging panel all the more special and unique. 

She added: "What people don't know is that during commercial break, there’d always be a pat on the back, a laugh, or a smile we'd always give each other. We just had a very strong camaraderie and we knew that we were always in it together, whether or not we were on the same page at that moment." 

Carrie, Len and Bruno in 2006© Evan Agostini
Carrie, Len and Bruno in 2006

Len passed away from bone cancer aged 78 in April 2023. At the time of his death, Carrie took to Instagram to pay her respects to her close friend. 

She wrote: "A Dancer. A teacher. A refined gentleman. A wonderful storyteller. A special soul. A mentor. A family man. And… A treasured friend. "Saying goodbye at the end of last season broke my heart. 

Len Goodman was one of the original DWTS judges© Bob D'Amico
Len Goodman was one of the original DWTS judges

"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. "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." 

Len Goodman in a suit on the DTWS panel© Getty
Len Goodman died aged 78

The ballroom dancer died peacefully in a hospice in Tunbridge Wells in Kent. At the time of his passing, Len's agent Jackie Gill said in a statement: "It is with great sadness to announce that Len Goodman has passed away peacefully, aged 78. 

"A much-loved husband, father and grandfather who will be sorely missed by family, friends and all who knew him."

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