MLK, Wife Paid Hospital Bill for Birth of Julia Roberts

They helped her family 'out of a jam,' Roberts says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2022 5:00 PM CDT
When Julia Roberts Was Born, MLK Paid the Hospital Bill
Julia Roberts, a cast member in "Ticket to Paradise," waves to photographers at the premiere of the film, Monday, Oct. 17, 2022, at the Regency Village Theatre in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Julia Roberts recently shared a little-known tidbit of family history—when she was born in Smyrna, Georgia, 55 years ago, the hospital bill was paid by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife, Coretta Scott King. In a HISTORYTalks interview last month that went viral after it was tweeted by Zara Rahim on Roberts' birthday, Roberts said that her parents knew the civil rights leader and his family through a theater school and that the Kings helped them "out of a jam" when they couldn't afford the hospital bill. "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."

"My mom was like, 'Sure, come on over.' And so they just all became friends and they helped us out of a jam," Roberts told interview Gayle King. Roberts was born on Oct. 28, 1967. The civil rights leader was assassinated less than six months later. Bernice King, the Kings' youngest child, said Sunday that she was glad the actress shared the story "and that so many people have been awed by it," the Washington Post reports. "I know the story well, but it is moving for me to be reminded of my parents’ generosity and influence," she tweeted. (More Julia Roberts stories.)

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