Dolly Parton Married Her Polar Opposite and Couldn’t Be Happier About It

Dolly Parton has been married to her husband Carl Dean for 54 years. While she has been married since 1966, over the years fans have questioned if her husband actually exists. In reality, the conspiracy theory simply developed because Parton ended up marrying someone who is her complete opposite.

While Parton’s career means being in the spotlight, Dean prefers to keep his life private. Despite their differences, Parton would not have it any other way and thinks their different lifestyles have helped their marriage.

Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton | Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Why she decided to write a book

Most recently, Parton made headlines when it was revealed she helped fund Moderna’s coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine. Parton’s book Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics was released on Nov. 17, and in an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Parton revealed why she decided to write the book.

“I had to have something to do. Couldn’t get out in concert. Had to make a living somehow,” she said. “Even for my true fans, I think they’re gonna get a lot of new stuff that they’ll enjoy when they thought they knew everything about me. They’ll find a few little nuggets that they didn’t know.”

Fans thought Dolly Parton’s husband did not exist

In her book Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics, Parton admitted that some people have told her through the years that they don’t believe Dean is real. In her interview with ET, Parton addressed the conspiracy theory and put the rumors to bed once and for all.

“A lot of people have thought that through the years, because he does not want to be in the spotlight at all,” she said. “It’s just not who he is. He’s like, a quiet, reserved person and he figured if he ever got out there in that, he’d never get a minute’s peace and he’s right about that.”

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Dolly Parton loves that Carl Dean is her opposite

Parton told ET she believes their marriage has lasted so long for a number of reasons. First, Parton thinks that her high-demanding job gives her and Dean the space they need.

“Our joke about the fact, when people ask me why it’s lasted this long, I say, ‘Because I stay gone.’ And there’s a lot of truth in that — the fact that we’re not in each other’s faces all the time,” Parton said.

The singer-songwriter also said that while she and Dean are drastically different people, at the core of their relationship is mutual respect. Plus, it does not hurt that the two have similar senses of humor.

“But we do have a great respect and admiration for each other. We both have a great sense of humor. So, we have a lot of fun,” she said.

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The two have a private marriage

Parton and Dean married on May 30, 1966. From the onset of their marriage, the two have kept their relationship out of the public eye.

“I’ve always respected and appreciated that in him and I’ve always tried to keep him out of the limelight as much as I can,” Parton told ET. “He said, ‘I didn’t choose this world, I chose you, and you chose that world. But we can keep our lives separate and together.’ And we do and we have. We’ve been together 56 years, married 54.”

While the two are polar opposites in some aspects, their dedication to privacy and respect has helped their marriage last over 50 years. Clearly, Parton and Dean have found a way to not only make their marriage work, but also thrive.