How Dolly Parton’s Husband Really Felt About Her Close Relationship With Burt Reynolds

Dolly Parton is still one of the most iconic superstars to this day. While most know her for her country singing, she’s also starred in Hollywood films. And it seems she developed a very close relationship with fellow actor Burt Reynolds.

So, how did Parton’s husband, Carl Thomas Dean, feel about the rumors that swirled around Parton and Reynolds back in the ’80s? Here’s what we know.

Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds developed a close relationship from working together

Burt Reynolds and Dolly Parton at Burt Reynolds Theater on July 15, 1982
Burt Reynolds and Dolly Parton at Burt Reynolds Theater on July 15, 1982 | Rich Mahan/Sun Sentinel/TNS

Parton didn’t act in too many movies, as she had trouble with many of the scripts. But something caught her eye with the 1982 musical, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. She starred in the film as Miss Mona Stangley, and Reynolds starred in the film as local sheriff Ed Earl Dodd. And, of course, there was a romance between the two in the film.

Parton admitted to Rolling Stone that she wished the film had even more love between her and Reynolds. “When they started askin’ for suggestions, I said I would like to see more of a romance,” she explained. “Wouldn’t you feel like you wasted five dollars if you paid to see Whorehouse and you didn’t see me and Burt kiss? I was makin’ a joke, and I stuck to it  I’m not going to miss my chance to kiss Burt Reynolds.”

While she certainly liked the idea of having more “love scenes” with Reynolds, Parton noted she didn’t want to do any sex scenes.

Parton explained how her husband, Carl Thomas Dean, felt about it

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Parton and Dean were married when Parton filmed The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. The two met outside of a laundromat when she first moved to Nashville. And when Dean initially met Parton, he said his first thought was that he was going to marry her one day. The couple dated for two years and tied the knot in 1966, Yahoo reports.

While Parton had been married for over a decade by the time she filmed with Reynolds, she was still quite candid about her attraction toward her co-star. And her husband knew of everything the tabloids were saying about a possible affair.

So, how did Dean feel? “Carl never cared about that,” Dolly told the Daily Mirror. “Lord, they had me sleeping with everybody – I’d have never got anything done.”

Parton explained her ‘open’ marriage with Dean

Dolly Parton attends MusiCares Person of the Year
Dolly Parton attends MusiCares Person of the Year | Rich Fury/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Parton’s explained her secrets to a long-lasting marriage. According to her, she and Dean never fight. “We’ve never bickered back and forth because I never wanted us to say bad things that we would have to remember,” she explained. “We get a little pissy now and then, but we’ll just kind of walk off or go do something else and let that die down.”

She also says her marriage is “open,” meaning she and Dean are totally honest with each other. Parton’s had many crushes on other men, and Dean knows that and has felt the same about other women. But they continue to come back to each other and never pursue others sexually.

“He’s not jealous and I’m not jealous of him,” she told the Daily Mirror. “He knows I flirt. He flirts too. Yes, it’s an open relationship, but not sexually and I would kill him if I thought he was doing that. He would shoot me too. At the end of the day, we love each other madly.”

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