After more than 50 years of marriage, Dolly Parton's husband is still a bit of a mystery to Dolly Parton fans. He rarely appears in public and never accompanies Dolly to award shows, causing fans to wonder, "Who is Dolly Parton's husband and why do we never see him?" And, as it turns out, the answers to those questions are pretty simple.
Carl Dean, Dolly Parton's husband, first met his future wife when he was 21 and she was 18. At the time, Dolly was at a laundromat washing her clothes when Carl stopped by and remarked that she would get sunburned in her revealing outfit before accompanying Dolly back inside the building.
"My first thought was I'm gonna marry that girl," Dean said on the couple's 50th wedding anniversary in 2016. "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."
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And marry they did! Two years later, in 1966, Dolly and Carl tied the knot in a church in Ringgold, Georgia, with only the preacher, his wife, and Dolly's mom in attendance. The two married in secret because they did not want the press to report the event.
"My mother made me a little white dress and a little bouquet," Parton told CMT. "But I said, 'I can't get married in a courthouse because I'll never feel married.' So we found a little Baptist church in town, and went up to Pastor Don Duvall and said, 'Would you marry us?' We got pictures on the steps right outside the church."
Watch Dolly Parton's look change over the years.
It's no secret that celebrities—especially those as famous as Dolly—live glamorous lives full of parties and paparazzi. But very early on, Carl told Dolly he wanted nothing to do with that lifestyle.
"Dolly, I want you to have everything you want, and I'm happy for you, but don't you ever ask me to go to another one of them dang things again!" he is reported as saying.
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And although Dolly probably misses having her husband around as she attends one award ceremony after another, she obviously loves him enough to listen to his wishes.
"You can't be in each other's face all the time," Dolly told Taste of Country. "Actually, I think that has been the best formula for us, the fact that we appreciate each other when we are together. We don't have to be together all the time."
With more than five decades under their collective belt, who are we to question their marriage. Obviously, they've found something that works for them! And just like that, all the mystery surrounding Carl Dean has disappeared. Who knew we never saw the man simply because he doesn't like a camera in his face all night? And really, who can blame him?
h/t Country Living
Dolly Parton's husband Carl Dean is her polar opposite--shy and mysterious. Click through the slideshow to find out what we DO know about the country legend's other half.