Russell Crowe has commended John Oliver for buying his second-hand jockstrap.

The Oscar-winning actor his 54th birthday by holding a huge sale of his belongings, dubbed the 'Art Of Divorce Auction', in reference to his split from wife Danielle Spencer.

Comedian Oliver revealed on 'Last Week Tonight' that the late night show had used a stash of their HBO budget to purchase several items from the sale, including $7,000 for the jockstrap Crowe wore in his 2005 boxing movie 'The Cinderella Man'.

Oliver declared on the show: ''It was $7,000! That is a big price to pay just to find out what Russell Crowe's balls smelled like in 2005!''

The 'Last Week Tonight' show team also bought Crowe's director's chair from 'American Gangster'; the vest he wore in 'Les Miserables'; the hood he wore 2010's 'Robin Hood' and the satin robe and gym shorts from 'Cinderella Man'.

Oliver announced that they plan to donate all the film memorabilia to the last remaining Blockbuster movie rental store in Anchorage, Alaska.

Crowe has now logged on to Twitter to thank John for showing his love for his movies by making the purchases.

The New Zealander tweeted: ''I think this is such a wonderful random act of kindness that I am planning now on how to best use the @iamjohnoliver money he spent on groin protectors and such . Given his often shown genuine love for Australians and Australia , it's got to be something special. [sic]''

Crowe's 'Art Of Divorce Auction' saw him sell of artwork, 28 watches, and movie memorabilia for just under $4 million.

The famous breastplate worn by Crowe in 'Gladiator' sold for a whopping $125,000.

The actor made a surprise appearance at the auction, appearing on stage after a rendition of 'Happy Birthday' and subsequent three cheers.

Crowe - who has sons has sons Charles, 14, and Tennyson, 11, with singer Danielle - finalised his divorce last year, five years after their split.

The 'Nice Guys' star said: ''Getting to this point with the divorce, and no matter how amicable a split is, you've still got to unwind things at a very deep level. I've never been someone who deconstructs things, I've always been someone who builds things, so it was quite a big lesson in life to become someone in life who can deconstruct things.

''I thought to myself, while I'm in the middle of doing that, how else can I do that? How else can I apply that. This is what I came up with.

''Actually it's been a lot of fun, this is almost like doing a full production.''