Harold "Stumpy" Cromer was a well-known tap dancer and comedian for more than half a century on television, Broadway, theater and vaudeville stages. He made his Broadway debut in DuBarry Was a Lady with Ethel Merman, Bert Lahr and Betty Grable, dancing and joining comic sketches. He later toured with the show.
Toward the end of World War II, he joined James Cross in the dance team Stump and Stumpy. Stump and Stumpy toured or performed with most of the major stars of the era, including Duke Ellington, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Billie Holiday, Franchot Tone and Ella Fitzgerald. Besides touring, they made regular appearances on Milton Berle's TV variety show and were featured in episodes of "Dragnet" and "Gunsmoke."
When rock 'n' roll took over the live entertainment game, Cromer became an emcee and toured with artists like LaVern Baker, with whom he danced while she sang "Jim Dandy."
A lifelong New Yorker, Cromer began dancing on the streets before he was a teenager, making "nickels and dimes" to help support his family in the early days of the Depression. He later became an accomplished jazz tap dancer, but he enlivened his act in his early days with novelty routines like tapping on roller skates.
After his family later moved to Harlem, he began working in places like the Kit Kat Club. He developed his own routines and, sometimes with Cross, wrote his own sketches. He remained active into his 80s, dancing and playing in cabaret shows.