Julia Roberts

When her mother couldn’t afford the hospital bill, legendary friends stepped in.

Fans of Pretty Woman, Erin Brokovich, and My Best Friend’s Wedding owe an unexpected debt of gratitude — and we’ve all had a reminder thanks to social media.

A couple of weeks ago, someone tweeted an old compilation of Julia Roberts clips, with the caption “Martin Luther King Jr paying for her birth is still a little known fact that sends me.”

A few days later, consultant Zara Rahim tweeted: “Today is Julia Roberts birthday! 55 years ago MLK and Coretta Scott King paid for her parents hospital bill after she was born. Can’t stop thinking about this since I read it. Here she is talking about it with @GayleKing”

In the clip, King (no relation to MLK) presses Roberts to reveal who paid for her mother’s hospital admission when she was born.

“The King family paid for my hospital bill,” Roberts said. “Martin Luther King and Coretta.”

She explained that her mother hadn’t been able to pay the bill, and that the two families already enjoyed a friendship thanks to their interest in theater.

“My parents had a theater school in Atlanta called the Actors and Writers’ Workshop,” Roberts said. “And one day Coretta Scott King 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.”

Roberts’ mom said yes, and so a friendship was born — one that would eventually mark the birth of an international superstar.

“They helped us out of a jam,” she said.