Nearly 55 years ago, Dolly Parton and Carl Dean headed to Ringgold, Georgia to begin a marriage that would be rock solid for decades to come.
Their marriage has withstood the inherent pressures of fame and fortune as Dolly Parton became an icon of country music. While Dean has preferred to stay out of the spotlight over the years, the opposite goes for Dolly.
Her stardom, even today, seems to be constantly growing and bigger than ever. But a new photo shows a time before country music and fame.
A photo posted from Twitter user @60sPics shows a lovely photo from May 30, 1966 when the pair celebrated their wedding.
While the photo is a bit blurry and subject to age over the years, Dolly Parton and her iconic smile are unmistakable. Posing in a classic wedding dress alongside Carl Dean, Dolly is simply beaming.
The pair are approaching their 55th anniversary this May.
Dolly Parton and Carl Dean’s Dynamic
With a star shining as brightly as Dolly’s does, it seems impossible for her partner to remain out of the spotlight. However, that’s exactly how the pair operate.
Speaking to Entertainment Tonight back in the fall of 2020, Parton opened up on the topic.
“A lot of people have thought that through the years, because he does not want to be in the spotlight at all,” Parton shared. “It’s just not who he is. He’s like, a quiet, reserved person and he figured if he ever got out there in that, he’d never get a minute’s peace and he’s right about that.”
One can’t fault Dolly Parton for agreeing with Carl Dean. Few understand fame to the level Parton does, and the floodgates would probably open if he reverted course.
Dolly goes on to add that their mutual respect is the key to their happy marriage. Changing that is not in Parton’s plans.
“I’ve always respected and appreciated that in him and I’ve always tried to keep him out of the limelight as much as I can,” she continued. “He said, ‘I didn’t choose this world, I chose you, and you chose that world. But we can keep our lives separate and together.’ And we do and we have. We’ve been together 56 years, married 54.”
The nature of the beast that is fame is that Parton is constantly working. While the pair doesn’t get to spend as much time together as they’d like, they have come to terms with it.
“Our joke about the fact, when people ask me why it’s lasted this long, I say, ‘Because I stay gone.’ And there’s a lot of truth in that — the fact that we’re not in each other’s faces all the time,” Parton shared. “But we do have a great respect and admiration for each other. We both have a great sense of humor. So, we have a lot of fun.”