Dolly Parton is without a doubt one of the most beloved country music stars to ever walk the earth. But she’s far more than just a talented musician and songwriter. She’s also a wildly successful businesswoman who seems to possess a real understanding of free-market economics. A humanitarian that seems to truly care about the causes that she stands behind. As well as a devoted wife to her husband Carl Dean, whom she married since 1966.
While the two have been an item for well over a half century now, some of Dolly’s fans aren’t thoroughly convince that Dean actually exists. Parton recently sat down with Entertainment Tonight; and discussed this bizarre conspiracy theory in hopes of finally putting it to rest.
But as everyone probably knows by this point, it doesn’t matter how thoroughly a conspiracy theory is debunked. There will always be those that refuse to accept reality and will continue to believe stubbornly that even the debunking was somehow part of the deception. You can’t please everyone, but reasonable folks will typically accept reality when the facts are presented clearly.
Join Facts Verse as we take a closer look at the origins of this peculiar theory. And what Dolly herself has had to say about it. We’ll also dig in a bit deeper, detailing some of the highlights of Parton and Dean’s long-standing; albeit somewhat unorthodox, union. Be sure to watch the whole video to learn some of the juicier secrets of their seemingly shatterproof marriage.
Dolly Parton And Carl Dean: A Love Story For The Ages
On May 30, 1966, Dolly Parton and Carl Dean married in Ringgold, Georgia. Dean, who is now retired, used to work for an asphalt road-paving business in Nashville, Tennessee. Parton met Dean shortly after taking a bus to Nashville right after she graduated from high school. She would have left her home to venture out to the big city sooner. But she has stated that her father would have sent out a ‘posse’ looking for her if she had left home any sooner than she did.
On the first day that she was in town, she met Dean standing outside of a laundromat named the Wishy Washy. He immediately taken to her and promptly asked her out on a date. With little hesitation, Parton said yes – and the rest is, as they say, history. That was in 1964, just two years before the couple tied the knot.
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Carl Dean Has Done His Best To Stay Out Of The Spotlight
Carl Dean has never been fond of the idea of being in the public eye. According to Dolly, he’s a quiet, somewhat reserved person who deeply values his privacy. While his wife is one of the most recognizable people in the world; you would hard-pressed to find someone who could pick him out in a line-up. Life in the limelight might be something that Dolly is comfortable with. But it’s never really been his cup of tea – and Parton has always respected and appreciated him for that.
But because of the fact that he is rarely seen in public and only scarce photographs of the two are known to exist. There are theories out there that claim that Carl Dean doesn’t even exist. In her memoir Songteller: My Life In Lyrics, and in recent interviews that she has given, the ‘9 to 5’ singer has done her best to put these rumors to rest.
Parton shared that Dean always figured that if he ever thrust into the spotlight. Then he’d never get a minute’s peace. Dolly also admitted that he was right about that. In her book, she revealed how he once told her that he ‘didn’t choose this world’; referring to the world of fame and fortune that Dolly found herself in after experiencing her meteoric rise to fame. She went on to explain that while Dean might not have expected his wife’s career to take off quite as it did. He did still choose her as his wife, and nothing was going to change the way he felt about her. So, the two agreed to keep their lives both separate in some ways while still being together.
Over the years, Dolly has attended Hollywood events and premieres on her own. And she isn’t in the least bit bothered by that. Doing her best to uphold his wishes, Parton has actively tried to keep Dean out of the limelight as much as possible. Even though her fans have long wished to get a glimpse inside the married couple’s long-enduring romance.
Dolly and her husband have kept many details of their union on the down-low, but there is very little doubt over whether their relationship is still going strong. If anything, they are closer than they have ever been. Whenever Dolly isn’t out on the road touring, she spends much of her free time with Carl.
Dolly And Dean Have Very Similar Interests
Just because he has very little interest in fame, that doesn’t mean that Dean and his legendary country-star wife don’t have a lot in common. For one thing, the two both love to travel. And they own a little RV that they like to take out on excursions.
They also share a mutual disdain for attending parties and social events. Granted, Dolly is known for being an excellent show-runner when it comes to professional work-related events. But she’s not going to go out of her way to attend functions when they aren’t necessarily for her career.
Dolly also says that she and Dean both have a great sense of humor – and whenever they are together, they tend to have a lot of fun. Really though, that’s probably one of the biggest things that have kept their marriage feeling fresh after all these years. If you can’t laugh and let your guard down with your partner, then what’s the point?
Dolly Revealed The Secret To Their Lasting Romance
Codependency has been the death of many a marriage. When discussing the secret to their 56-year marriage; the ‘Jolene’ singer revealed that the secret to making their romance last for as long as it has is the fact that she has largely done her own thing over the decades. Her career has required her to be away for much of the time that they have been together. The fact that they haven’t been in each other’s faces all the time has actually done wonders for the health of their marriage.
They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder. And it’s a whole lot healthier for couples to have thriving personal lives independent of their partners if they want to have something to share with them at the end of the day. If Dolly and Carl Dean had spent every last waking moment of their lives together. Then the chances are relatively slim that they would still be happy. Too much time in each other’s company will eventually deplete a relationship of that spark that got it going in the first place.
While Dolly and Carl Dean share a genuine connection, the Dollyworld Queen of country and her spouse are actually quite different in many ways. But that’s precisely what has made them such a perfect match. Opposites attract. Anyone that’s ever dated someone that’s too much like themselves knows this truth all too well.
Carl, according to Parton, is a relatively quiet man. It’s because of this that he brings balance to her life. Parton has always been known to be ‘larger than life’ in a lot of ways. But it’s Carl’s down-to-Earth groundedness that has helped her to stay humble and to not get lost in vanity and overexposure.
Carl Dean Isn’t A Big Fan Of Dolly’s Music
While Parton has never accused Carl Dean of being unsupportive of her life or career. She told Good Morning Britain back in 2019 that he actually prefers other kinds of music than what she produces. She told the popular British program that Dean isn’t exactly the biggest fan of her music, but even so, he’s proud of her and loves that she loves what she does.
Dean reportedly prefers Led Zeppelin and bluegrass music. Dolly says that he doesn’t exactly dislike her music, but he doesn’t go out of his way to listen to her records. In fact, Parton says that he has only actually seen her perform live a ‘time or two’.
Parton has earned a number of awards throughout her prolific career in the music industry, including 9 Grammys, 46 BMI Awards and, 12 Country Music Television Awards.
Carl Dean’s Declining Health
It was reported in 2019 that Carl is now living with Alzheimer’s disease, and it’s impact on Carl, and not to mention Parton, has been nothing short of devastating. Since his diagnosis, Carl’s condition has rapidly declined in the past two years.
In February, Dolly stated that she rarely leaves his bedside, anticipating that the end might be near for the 79-year-old. Even though they have historically spent a great deal of time apart, since coming down with the debilitating disease, Parton has become his primary caregiver.
Dolly recently told the press that his condition has brought on a whole ‘slew of grave issues’, including gull bladder problems. She says that he hardly has an appetite anymore and is prone to outbursts brought on by his confusion. Sadly, he spends most of his time these days in a perpetual state of disorientation.
While Carl, just like his wife, has been historically a fiercely independent individual, sadly, he is now almost completely housebound. Even before being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Carl had been suffering from high blood pressure and a weak heart, but now these conditions have been exacerbated by his worsening neurological condition.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also brought on a ton of concerns regarding his failing health. An insider close to Parton and Dean has shared that Dolly believes that Carl’s immune system is so badly compromised that if he were to contract the virus, he likely wouldn’t survive it. To help combat this grim reality, Parton has cut their staff down just to two people in an attempt to limit the number of people that Carl interacts with. Reportedly, Dolly won’t even allow her family to come over.
Hopefully, Carl Dean won’t have to suffer too much longer. While we would never wish death upon anyone, at this point, it would likely come as a welcome – albeit morbid – reprieve both for him and his wife. Regardless of how things play out, we wish Dolly and her husband the best.
How much do you know about Dolly Parton’s husband, Carl Dean? And, have you ever suspected that he might not actually exist as so many others have theorized? Let us know in the comments section down below.
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