Robert (Bobby) Johnson, a tap dancer in vaudeville and on the musical-comedy stage, died of a cardiac arrest Sunday while on his way to St. Vincent’s Hospital for dialysis treatment. He lived in Manhattan and would have been 61 years old on Jan. 21.
At his death, Mr. Johnson was a consultant on the Robert Evans production of the film ”The Cotton Club.” He was a principal in ”New Faces” of 1936 and 1937 and appeared in the Duke Ellington Revue of 1937. He also performed in the Fletcher Henderson revue with his sister, Wini Johnson, and his brother, Howard (Stretch) Johnson.
Mr. Johnson performed at the Kit Kat Club in New York and at clubs in Chicago and Canada. During World War II, he entertained in the South Pacific with the United Service Organizations in a unit headed by Alberta Hunter.
Later, Mr. Johnson appeared with a partner, Foster Johnson, no relation, in the national company of ”Kiss Me, Kate.” He portrayed Sportin’ Life in a road company of ”Porgy and Bess” and he danced in the Middle West and Canada with the Three Rhythm Kings.
Mr. Johnson is survived by his brothers, Howard, now a sociology professor at the State University at New Paltz, and Wesley , a retired New York City police officer, and a sister, Shirley Banfield of Houston.