LIFE: Backstage at the Oscars

Oscars

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LIFE photographer Leonard McCombe photographed Hollywood legends like Paul Newman, Jimmy Stewart, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Mae West, Kirk Douglas, Burt Lancaster and many more, as they rehearsed for the 1958 Academy Awards. As it turned out, however, only a handful of McCombe’s marvelous photos were published in the magazine. Here, 55 years later, LIFE.com presents the pictures that ran in LIFE, and many more that didn’t.

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