NEW YORK (AP) — Lauren Bacall had one of those incredible lives.
The wife and co-star of Humphrey Bogart. A Tony Award-winning actress. A National Book Award-winning author. A giant of fashion. A friend of the Kennedys. One of the last survivors of Hollywood's studio age.
A star almost from the moment she appeared on screen to the day she died, Tuesday, at age 89, at a New York City hospital.
Lauren Bacall, 1924-2014
This Jan. 23, 1993 file photo shows actress Lauren Bacall holding up her Cecil B. DeMille Award for Lifetime Achievement as she holds hands with actor Anthony Hopkins backstage at the 50th annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif. Bacall, the sultry-voiced actress and Humphrey Bogart's partner off and on the screen, died Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014 in New York. She was 89. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)
Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall appear at the Stork Club in New York in 1950. (Associated Press)
This 1965 file photo shows actress Lauren Bacall at her home in New York. Bacall, the sultry-voiced actress and Humphrey Bogart's partner off and on the screen, died Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014 in New York. She was 89. (AP Photo, File)
This Jan. 14, 1981 file photo shows actress Lauren Bacall rehearsing with Eivind Harum, for the musical "Woman of the Year," in New York. (AP Photo/Suzanne Vlamis, File)
This June 8, 1979 file photo shows actress Lauren Bacall, center, with Henry Kissinger, left, and actor Henry Fonda at a party to launch her autobiography,"By Myself" at the Palace Theater in New York. (AP Photo/Ron Frehm, FIle)
This March 4, 1982 file photo shows a Lauren Bacall and Jason Robards, right, at a rally to save the Morosco and Helen Hayes Theatres in New York. (AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler, File)
This Oct. 12, 1955 file photo shows actors Humphrey Bogart, left, and his wife, Lauren Bacall at the premiere of "The Desperate Hours," in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Harold Filan, FIle)
This May 1945 file photo shows actor Humphrey Bogart, left, with his wife actress Lauren Bacall. (AP Photo, File)
This March 16, 2002 file photo shows actress Lauren Bacall waving as she enters Marble Collegiate Church in New York for the wedding of Liza Minnelli and David Gest. (AP Photo/Ed Betz, File)
In this Feb. 10, 1945 file photo, Vice President Harry S. Truman plays the piano as actress Lauren Bacall lies on top of it during her appearance at the National Press Club canteen in Washington. (AP Photo, File)
This Oct. 15, 2007 file photo shows actress Lauren Bacall arrives at Elle magazine's 14th Annual Women in Hollywood tribute in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian, FIle)
This 1944 file photo originally released by Warner Bros. shows actor Humphrey Bogart, right, holding actress Lauren Bacall in a scene from, "To Have and Have Not." (AP Photo, Warner Bros. Pictures, File)
This Feb. 1950 file photo shows actor Humphrey Bogart, left, and his wife actress Lauren Bacall appear at the Stork Club in New York. (AP Photo, File)
This March 7, 2010 file photo shows actress Lauren Bacall backstage during the 82nd Academy Awards in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Vince Bucci, File)
"Stardom isn't a career," Bacall once observed, "it's an accident."
What a lucky accident it turned out to be.
Her career was one of great achievement and some frustration. The actress received a Golden Globe and an honorary Oscar and appeared in scores of film and TV productions. But not until 1996 did she receive an Academy Award nomination — as supporting actress for her role as Barbra Streisand's mother in "The Mirror Has Two Faces." Although a sentimental favorite, she was beaten by Juliette Binoche for her performance in "The English Patient."
Bacall would outlive her first husband by more than 50 years, but never outlived their legend, which began in their first movie together, "To Have or Have Not," when she uttered to Bogart among the sultriest lines in Hollywood history (in part because of that come-hither delivery): "You don't have to say anything, and you don't have to do anything. Not a thing. Oh, maybe just whistle. You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow."
They were "Bogie and Bacall" — the hard-boiled couple who could fight and make up with the best of them. They were A-list glamour and B-movie danger. Unlike Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, Bogart and Bacall were not a story of opposites attracting but of kindred, smoldering spirits. She was less than half Bogart's age, yet as wise, and as jaded, as he was. They threw all-night parties, laughed at the snobs, palled around with Frank Sinatra and others and formed a gang of California carousers known as the Holmby Hills Rat Pack.
After Bogart's death, she continued to forge her own distinct path. On television, in films, in her books, she was blunt, sardonic, demanding, loyal. Pity anyone who knocked Bogart, crossed one of her friends or voted Republican.
Bacall was born Betty Joan Perske in the Bronx, the daughter of Jewish immigrants. Her parents divorced when Betty was 8, and the mother took part of her family name, Bacal. (Betty added the extra L when she became an actress.)