Silver screen legend Humphrey Bogart's 87-year-old former mistress has refused evacuation from her New Orleans home and has vowed to stand up to the devastating effects of hurricane Katrina.

VERITA THOMPSON, Bogart's lover for 17 years, was offered a flight out of the Louisiana city in a private jet as Katrina prepared to strike - but she insisted on staying in her third storey apartment in the French quarter of the now 80 per cent submerged city.

She said at the time, "Lauren Bacall failed to chase me out of Hollywood. Katrina won't force me out of New Orleans."

A friend of Thompson - who described herself as Bogart's 'executive secretary' - says, "She's still quite a gal. She ran a Mexican restaurant here which was a gift to her from Howard Hughes. She'd kept Bogart's toupee as a keepsake but later sold it at an auction in Mississippi."