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Dolly Parton | Dolly Parton and husband, Carl Dean | Source: Getty Images | instagram.com/dollyparton
Dolly Parton | Dolly Parton and husband, Carl Dean | Source: Getty Images | instagram.com/dollyparton

Dolly Parton Quit Touring to Be Caregiver to Husband of 56 Years

Gaone Pule
Jan 04, 2023
12:15 A.M.
  • Dolly Parton quits touring to care for her husband of 56 years at their home.

  • Dolly married country boy Carl at 18 despite being told it'd be bad for her life.

  • Dolly is very private and protective of her husband.

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Singer-songwriter Dolly Parton met her future spouse, Carl Dean, in 1964 on the first day she uprooted to Nashville. The pair were pretty young at the time, she was 18, and he was 21.

Parton and Dean locked eyes for the first time outside of the Wishy-Washy Laundromat Music City. They began dating shortly after.

Singer-songwriter Dolly Parton attending the 57th Academy of Country Music Awards on March 7, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. | Source: Getty Images

Singer-songwriter Dolly Parton attending the 57th Academy of Country Music Awards on March 7, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. | Source: Getty Images

Parton once talked about the type of man her husband is, saying he's a typical country boy who works in asphalt and loves to work on tractors.

Dean once recalled crossing paths with the actress and thought he would marry her one day. Secondly, he could not resist her good looks:

"My first thought was, 'I'm going to marry that girl.' My second thought was, 'Lord, she's good-looking.' And that was the day my life began."

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Meanwhile, his love also recounted their first interaction in a cover story for People in November 2018, revealing that he wanted to take her out to dinner:

"When I met my husband, he wanted to take me out to dinner. He pulled up to the drive-in window and got our food at McDonald's."

Even though she is a superstar, Dean is not part of Hollywood and prefers living an ordinary life. Hence he opts for low-key restaurants where he can be comfortable.

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The "Jolene" singer admitted that she fell head over heels in love with Dean. But her happiness got overshadowed by people who advised her against getting married, suggesting that it would be unfavorable for her career.

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However, Parton refused to listen to the outside noise. She and the love of her life tied the knot two years later, on May 30, 1966, in a private ceremony.

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Only three individuals attended the nuptials, Parton's mother, the preacher, who officiated the ceremony, and his wife. The bride donned a knee-length white dress, low-heeled pumps, and a short, puffy veil. Parton and Dean married in Ringgold, Georgia, to avoid publicity in Tennessee newspapers.

A Private Marriage from The Onset

Parton has continued to shield her long-lasting marriage with Dean from the spotlight for decades. Asked how she pulled it off for so many years, the "Joyful Noise" star revealed that wisdom from her mother went a long way.

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"I learned early on, 'Always keep something back for you. You can give what you've got to give, but don't give it all away," she divulged. Parton said taking heed of the advice has benefitted her union:

"I've known how to keep my husband private. It's just natural to me to protect the things and the people I love and to protect my privacy."

The legendary star has been in show business since she was ten years old and is an open book when it comes to other aspects of her life. However, not everything is out in the open.

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As a woman of faith, Parton said some parts belonged to God, and some belonged to her. She added that she prayed for God to provide enough to share and enough to spare when it came to money.

Moreover, Parton knows how to unwind from the camera life as a well-known individual. On her days off, she and her husband take mini trips in their "little camper" to have picnic lunches in the Tennessee countryside. The couple also goes on date nights for low-key dinners at their favorite local spots.

While the lovebirds are known for leading a private life, they previously made one public appearance at a country music event. The two attended a BMI dinner in 1966, where Parton picked up her first songwriting award for Bill Phillips' recording of "Put It Off Until Tomorrow."

A photograph of Dolly Parton's husband Carl Dean's house taken on February 15, 1996. | Source: Getty Images

A photograph of Dolly Parton's husband Carl Dean's house taken on February 15, 1996. | Source: Getty Images

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She was only 20 years old and not yet signed as a recording artist. Parton told The Boot in June 2011 that it was her first significant record which went No.1 for Phillips and was BMI's Song of the Year:

"Carl and I got dressed up, he was in a tux, and we drove to the dinner. We got out and walked up to the red carpet and went inside and sat through dinner and the awards."

Afterward, the duo headed home, and while on their way back, Dean turned to Parton and told her, "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 the events again!"

Dolly Parton at DOLLY PARTONS MOUNTAIN MAGIC CHRISTMAS -- Season: 2022 | Source: Getty Images

Dolly Parton at DOLLY PARTONS MOUNTAIN MAGIC CHRISTMAS -- Season: 2022 | Source: Getty Images

Since then, the philanthropist has ensured that her beloved husband remains in the background of her illustrious career, telling Fox News in October 2017 that Dean preferred privacy because he did not choose the same path as her:

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"I try to keep my husband out of the business. I love him enough to not expose him to it."

While the couple have kept their relationship very quiet over the years, they celebrate their marriage often and even renewed their vows on their 50th wedding anniversary.

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Parton said she found her husband to be the most handsome man and she felt lucky to be with him and so happy together after 50 years. They even dressed up for the occasion.

Parton Became Carl's Caregiver in 2022

Dolly Parton has had a wonderful career in Hollywood, but lately she has been quieter as she stays close to her husband, who reportedly suffers from Alzheimer's.

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She revealed that she likes to stay closer to her husband and has become something of a caregiver to him. While she acknowledges that they are not as active as they once were, she confessed she's grateful that he's still around.

Although they don't get out much anymore, it has been said that Parton still enjoys cooking for her husband when they're home and if they want company, their friends and family go their home for a meal. A source said that Carl is aware that Dolly loves him.

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