The Golden Age of Hollywood at The Oscars 📷

Life on Hollywood’s Classic Night

The one and only Audrey Hepburn cradles the Oscar she won for her role in Roman Holiday. (Ralph Morse)

Audrey Hepburn. Marlon Brando. Elizabeth Taylor. Kirk Douglas. Grace Kelly. Bogart and Bacall . . . you get the picture. The Golden Age of Hollywood goes to the Academy Awards.

From the red carpet to the stage to the after-parties (where tuxedos and gowns were de rigueur). In honor of Hollywood, actors, actresses and the magic of movies in general, a selection of Oscar photos that capture not only the familiar glitz and glamor of the proceedings, but those far rarer moments when a superstar drops his or her guard and, for an instant, we see someone who seems remarkably like us — albeit better-looking, richer, and with more charisma than most of us could summon in a lifetime of trying.

Grey Villet — The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Elizabeth Taylor walks through a crowd of admirers at the Oscars in 1961 — the year she won her first Academy Award, for her role in BUtterfield 8.

Ed Clark — The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Grace Kelly and Clark Gable arrive at the 26th annual Academy Awards at the RKO Pantages Theatre in 1954.

Ed Clark — The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Kirk Douglas, elegant in white tie, smiles and waves as he enters the RKO Pantages Theatre in 1954.

Loomis Dean — The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Television actress Sandra White laughs while arriving late at the 1953 Academy Awards.

George Silk — The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Humphrey Bogart and his wife Lauren Bacall arrive at the 27th annual Academy Awards at the RKO Pantages Theater in 1955.

Allan Grant — The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Natalie Wood, Best Actress nominee for her role as Deanie Loomis in Splendor in the Grass, gets her hair done prior to the 1962 Academy Awards.

Allan Grant — The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Presenters Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly wait backstage at the RKO Pantages Theatre during the 1956 Academy Awards.

J. R. Eyerman — The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

John Wayne (whose image is being projected on the huge screen) accepts the Best Director Oscar from Olivia DeHavillan for an absent John Ford during the 25th annual Academy Awards in 1953 — the first year the ceremony was televised.

Ralph Crane — The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

The great, inimitable Charlie Chaplin — who had been living in self-imposed exile in Switzerland for two decades — blows a kiss to the crowd while accepting an honorary Oscar in 1972 for “the incalculable effect he has had in making motion pictures the art form of this century.” When he was introduced to the audience, Chaplin received a 12-minute standing ovation.

Allan Grant — The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty, co-stars in the Elia Kazan-directed romantic drama, Splendor in the Grass, attend the 1962 Academy Awards.

Peter Stackpole — The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

At the 1942 Academy Awards, Joan Fontaine gazes at the Best Actress Oscar she won for her role in Suspicion — an achievement that made her, incredibly, the only actor or actress to ever win an Oscar for a performance in an Alfred Hitchcock film.

Loomis Dean — The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

John Wayne holds Oscars for Gary Cooper and John Ford (Best Actor for High Noon) and Best Director for The Quiet Man, respectively) backstage at the 25th Academy Awards at the RKO Pantages Theatre, Hollywood, 1953.

Ed Clark — The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Academy Award-winner Olivia de Havilland (The Heiress) and dapper presenter Jimmy Stewart at the 22nd Academy Awards, 1949.

Walter Sanders — The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Photographers snap their cameras Oscar winners Ingrid Bergman (Gaslight) and Bing Crosby (Going My Way) at the 1945 Academy Awards.

Ed Clark — The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Presenters Ginger Rogers and George Murphy dance together while holding an Oscar backstage at the RKO Pantages Theatre in 1950.

George Silk — The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Marlon Brando (right, with French singer and actress Line Renaud) casually holds his Best Actor Oscar for On The Waterfront at the 1955 Academy Awards at the RKO Pantages Theatre.

J. R. Eyerman — The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Joanne Woodward dances with her husband, Paul Newman, at the Governor’s Ball following the Academy Awards where she won the Oscar for Best Actress for her role in Three Faces of Eve.

George Silk — The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Frank Sinatra and Donna Reed hold their Oscars as Best Supporting Actor and Actress in From Here to Eternity — a film that won eight statuettes in 1954, including Best Picture.

Ed Clark — The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Producer Buddy Adler’s Academy Award for From Here to Eternity stands amid hats in the coat check room at Romanoff’s restaurant in Beverly Hills during an Oscars after-party in 1954.