Julia Roberts says the late Martin Luther King Jr and his wife Coretta Scott King paid the hospital bill for her birth.

The actress, 55, revealed the couple made the gesture as her parents couldn’t afford the fee, and said her mum and dad befriended the Kings while living in Atlanta running a theatre school.

She told Gayle King, in a clip showing her in conversation with the journalist last month that has now been shared online by a fan: “One day Coretta called my mother and asked if her kids could be part of the school because they were having a hard time finding a place that would accept her kids.

“My mom was like, ‘Sure, come on over,’ and so they all just became friends, and they helped us out of a jam.”

It has been reported that a Ku Klux Klan member blew up a car outside one of Julia’s parent’s Betty and Walter Roberts’ plays in 1965 in response to King Jr’s daughter Yolanda being cast in a role in which she kissed a white actor.

Gayle hailed Julia’s parents’ decision “extraordinary” because people didn’t see “little black children interacting with little white kids in acting school” at the time.

Julia celebrated her 55th birthday on Friday (28.10.22) by sharing a selfie of herself on Instagram sipping a mug of coffee surrounded by pink and gold balloons.

She captioned the photo: “Feeling the love and magic on my 55th Birthday! My cup runneth over.”

Julia has also paid tribute to her husband Danny Moder and their life with their children, 17-year-old twins Hazel and Phinnaeus and son Henry, 15, saying: “The life that I have built with my husband, [and] the life that we’ve built with our children, that’s the best stuff. To come home at the end of the day, triumphantly, to them.”