updated 02/24/2012 AT 5:00 PM ET
•originally published 02/25/2012 AT 9:30 AM ET
The actress, nominated for her royal role in the 1953 romantic comedy Roman Holiday, was named Best Actress at the 1954 Academy Awards. Now, Life.com has a look back at that night and many other glamorous moments from Oscars’ past in a new gallery.
“I want to say thank you to everybody who in these past months and years have helped, guided and given me so much,” Hepburn said on stage that night while accepting her award. “I’m truly, truly grateful – and terribly happy.”
Hepburn went on to be nominated in the Best Actress category for Sabrina (1955); The Nun’s Story (1960); Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1962); and Wait Until Dark (1968), but the statue for Roman Holiday was her only Oscar. In 1994, she posthumously won the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.
Also included in Life’s glamorous, behind-the-scenes gallery: Elizabeth Taylor, wrapped in fur, and walking through a bevy of tuxedoed admirers; Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall’s glamorous arrival in 1955; and Natalie Wood prepping for the big night by getting her hair styled.