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Dolly Parton husband: Who is Dolly Parton married to? | Films | Entertainment |

Her best-kept secret.  and her husband,  Carl Dean, have been married for more than 50 years, but  — and .

The country icon first met her future spouse when she moved to Nashville in 1964 to start her music career. They tied the knot within two years of meeting each other, but as Parton’s star rose, Dean kept to himself. Eventually, fans started to wonder if .

“He just don’t have any desire to be in show business,” the Tennessee native told  in October 1978. “He don’t want to have his picture in the paper. He don’t want to go out to the supermarket and have people say, ‘That’s Dolly Parton’s husband.'”

Though the Grammy winner — the fourth of 12 children — grew up in a huge family, she and Dean never had any kids of their own. Parton, however, , which has sent more than 100 million free books to young children since she founded it in 1995.

“God has a plan for everything,” the  actress explained during an October 2017 interview with the  show. “I think it probably was his plan for me not to have kids so everybody’s kids could be mine. And they are now.”

To hear Parton tell it, she and Dean have still managed to have plenty of fun as a twosome over the years. “We take off in our camper or go to our lake house,” the music superstar wrote in her 1994 memoir, . “We might go on a picnic somewhere, and then decide to stay overnight. Then we’ll go to a ‘drive up to your room’ motel.”

In May 2016, the couple , and Dean released a rare statement about his famous wife. “My first thought was, ‘I’m gonna marry that girl,'” he recalled of his first encounter with Parton. “My second thought was, ‘Lord, she’s good-lookin.’ And that was the day my life began. I wouldn’t trade the last 50 years for nothing on this earth.”

The duo also commemorated the occasion by renewing their vows in a private ceremony in Nashville. “If I had it to do all over, I’d do it all over again, and we did,” Parton said at the time. “I’m dragging him kicking and screaming into the next 50 years. Wish us luck.”

Keep scrolling for a look back at Parton and Dean’s romance:



The day after graduating from high school, Parton moved to Nashville from her hometown of Sevierville to pursue her singing career. That same day, she met Dean outside the Wishy Washy Laundromat. "I guess kind of in the back of my mind I was maybe flirtin' a little," she recalled in a 1970 interview with . "But mainly I was just bein' friendly because I'd always been the kind of person who would speak back and smile." 


May 1966

The duo tied the knot in a ceremony attended only by Parton, her mother, Dean, the preacher and his wife. "I like the way he loves me," Parton told  of her husband in 1978. "His understanding of me and the things I do. The way he lets me be free. And lets me be me." 


January 1979

While interviewing Parton for a profile, a  reporter finally caught a glimpse of Dean. "Tall and good-looking, rather like a young Gregory Peck, he has a way of moving his angular body so that he seems to come toward you in sections," the article read. "He is a fan of television and nightclub comic ." 


January 1981

The "Eagle When She Flies" songstress opened up about her relationship with Dean in a candid interview with , saying that the pair "never" argue. "Sometimes we'll get a little touchy if we're tired or aggravated," she explained. "We never put ourselves in a situation where we bicker back and forth." 


May 2016

The  star and Dean renewed their vows to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. To commemorate the occasion, Parton's 1966 wedding dress and Dean's suit were displayed in the Chasing Rainbows Museum at Dollywood. 


August 2016

Parton recorded some of her favorite love songs for her 45th studio album, . She originally wrote and recorded two of the tracks, "Say Forever You'll Be Mine" and "Tomorrow Is Forever," early in her marriage to Dean. 

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