Page last updated at 16:28 GMT, Monday, 11 May 2009 17:28 UK

Movie stars help Titanic survivor

Millvina Dean
Miss Dean was only nine weeks old when the Titanic sank

Movie stars Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio have helped pay towards the nursing home fees of the last Titanic survivor, the fund's chairman said.

The actors, along with director James Cameron, are thought to have donated $30,000 (£22,000) after being asked to help 97-year-old Millvina Dean.

Miss Dean from the New Forest was nine weeks old when the liner sank in 1912.

She is struggling with monthly bills of £3,000 and is in danger of losing her room at her Southampton nursing home.

Lend support

She has been forced to auction personal belongings and memorabilia associated with the disaster to cover her care costs.

Leonardo DiCaprio, in character as Jack, holds Kate Winslet, as Rose, as the ship sinks in the epic drama Titanic
Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet starred in the Oscar winning Titanic.

The Millvina Fund has now been set up to support her and Irish author Don Mullan, a friend of Miss Dean, approached the stars to lend their support.

Mr Mullan said: "I laid down the challenge to the Titanic actors and directors to support the Millvina Fund and I was delighted with the generosity they have shown in meeting that challenge."

Miss Dean was the Titanic's youngest passenger. Her father, Bertram Dean, died in the 1912 tragedy after saving the lives of his wife and two children.

Miss Dean's mother returned from New York with her children to Southampton, where Miss Dean has spent most of her life.

The Millvina Fund was launched in Belfast on Monday, where the Titanic was built.

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