February 14, 2006 09:05 AM

Brokeback Mountain stars Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal have given the shirts off their back – or, at least, someone from the Oscar-nominated movie’s studio has, in order to raise money for charity.

The shirts worn by the actors are for sale on eBay as part of an auction to benefit Variety – the Children’s Charity of Southern California, reports the Los Angeles Times.

By Tuesday morning, the bid had reached $20,450. The sale ends next Monday at 5 p.m. PT.

As for why he bid $17,000 for the shirts, Dennis White, 48, of Seattle, told the Times: “They are so iconic. They are like the ruby slippers.”

“We’re overwhelmed by the bidding,” the charity’s executive director, Maria Schmidt, tells the paper. “This is already way over what any of us thought the shirts would bring.”

A recent offering from the children’s charity on eBay turned out to be its biggest draw so far: the VW Beetle from Herbie: Fully Loaded, which fetched $24,000.

In this current sale, one of the lowest-price items, so far, is a poster for The Ringer autographed by Johnny Knoxville. It stands at $51.01.

In Southern California, Variety has contributed to such local institutions as Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA and various boys and girls clubs.

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