Dolly Parton has been a household name for more than five decades now, but not many know her longtime husband, Carl Thomas Dean. Even though the country music icon’s super private spouse has shied away from the Hollywood spotlight, he’s always supported Dolly throughout her legendary career.
The 9 to 5 star’s love story with the Tennessee native began on the very first day Dolly moved to Nashville in 1964. She was just 18 at the time, while Carl was 21, when the two met outside of the Wishy Washy Laundromat in Music City, according to reports.
It was practically love at first sight for the young couple and they began dating shortly after. Two years later, the “I Will Always Love You” songstress and Carl made their love official when they tied the knot at a church in Ringgold, Georgia, in May 1966. “I knew as soon as I met Carl [that] there was no point looking for somebody else,” the “Islands in the Stream” singer marveled to Marie Claire in 2016.
Dolly quickly reached fame and superstardom throughout the early years of their marriage, but it didn’t bother her that Carl opted out of showbiz. In fact, the Steel Magnolias star said their different lifestyle preferences only continue to strengthen their relationship.
“He wants to be mostly around the house — he knows I’m just the opposite,” she told People in 2015. “I can’t go enough places. I can’t do enough things. He loves that. He’s independent. He doesn’t need me in his face, and it’s the same with me.”
The Grammy Award winner even dished the secret to their happy marriage, saying they’ve been able to maintain their strong bond because they actually spend time apart. “I always say, ‘Stay gone!’ and there’s a lot of truth to that,” she joked with the outlet.
Considering the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas actress is so in love with Carl, being away from him makes her all the more appreciative when they are together. Dolly was especially “grateful” to “spend more time with Carl” amid the coronavirus pandemic last year. Though she’s begun traveling more for work as COVID-19 regulations have started loosening up, the singer has been “cutting back as much as she can” when it comes to her work so she can be with Carl at home.
“She adores and is committed to Carl. They’re a team and Dolly will always be there for him,” an insider exclusively shared with Closer in July 2021. “Dolly is steadfast in her devotion and love for him. Dolly, like Carl, has always said that they’re in it for the long haul.”
Scroll through the gallery below to learn all about the country star’s private husband!
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