Dolly Parton Shares Rare Photo of Husband Carl Thomas Dean on Valentine’s Day

Dolly Parton posted a throwback photo of her husband Carl Thomas Dean on social media to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Here’s how fans reacted to the picture and why the country music star rarely shares photos of her spouse.

Dolly Parton smiles at an event.
Dolly Parton | John Lamparski/Getty Images

Dolly Parton shared a rare throwback photo of her husband Carl Thomas Dean for Valentine’s Day

Although Dolly Parton and Carl Thomas Dean have been married since 1966, the country music star’s husband has rarely been photographed or even seen.

On Feb. 14, Parton shared a rare throwback photo on Instagram in honor of Valentine’s Day. In the image, Dean has his arm wrapped around Parton and kisses her cheek as she smiles widely at the camera.

“Happy Valentine’s Day y’all!” Parton captioned the adorable photo. “Remember to squeeze your loved ones a little tighter today and tell them you love ‘em! ❤️”

Dolly Parton’s husband Carl Thomas Dean is a private person

Carl Thomas Dean is such a private person there was once a rumor that Dolly Parton’s husband didn’t exist. The country music star discussed the rumor in a 1981 interview for The Ralph Emery Show.

“I had about four different people in two days say, ‘Is this something you and your manager dreamed up, this husband thing? We don’t believe that there is a husband or Carl Dean. We think this is a mystery that you’ve built up,’ and this and that,” Parton said, as recorded in the book Dolly on Dolly. “And you’d be surprised at how many people really think that. But there really is a Carl Dean.”

Parton added that although her husband is proud of her, he doesn’t want to be famous. “But now really, Carl don’t wanna be in the limelight,” she explained. “He’s proud of me and he likes the fact that’s what I wanna do. And I don’t interfere with what he likes.”

She said she respects his choice to stay out of the spotlight and protect his privacy. “But he knows if he ever started doing interviews and if people started photographing him and all that, then he wouldn’t be able to go to the auto parts store or the ballgames and the places he wants to go without bein’ bothered,” Parton said. “And he don’t wanna be a star. And so it’s his choice and I respect that.” 

Fans are gushing over the country star’s loved-up photo

Fans loved getting a glimpse of Dolly Parton’s husband Carl Thomas Dean, and they have been leaving supportive and admiring comments on her Instagram post. 

One fan mentioned the old rumor that Dean didn’t exist by commenting, “He IS real! Tell your Valentine we thank him for sharing you so graciously for many decades. 💕”

A fan gushed over the couple by writing, “You made me believe that true love exists!!” while another commented, “THIS IS SO CUTE OMG.”

Many left supportive comments like, “How sweet!! Happy Valentine’s Day to you and Carl. 😊♥️🌹. Y’all are a great example for all the world!!” and “Beautiful couple 💑. Happy Valentine’s Day to both of you ❤️😍😍”

And one fan joked about Parton’s 1973 hit song “Jolene” by writing, “So glad Jolene wasn’t able to steal your man ❤️”

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