After 50 Years Of Keeping Secret, Dolly Shares Closely Guarded Truth About Her Marriage

Forever youthful and exuberant country legend Dolly Parton has been married 50 years! How is that even possible? Even more remarkable is that Dolly just turned 71 this year. We weren’t kidding when we said she’s forever youthful!

Dolly has been able to keep her personal life pretty private over the years, despite her worldwide success, but her sister, Stella Parton, is finally spilling some of the beans about Dolly’s long-lasting marriage to businessman Carl Dean.

Stella told Closer Weekly some of the details of her sister’s private life, most notably about how Dolly’s husband, Carl, is a fairly reclusive person but is always there for the family.

Stella told the magazine, “When it’s important stuff family-wise, he’s there — weddings, births, and funerals. But he doesn’t care a thing about all the public stuff. It’s not his bag at all, and we respect that.”

She added, “He thinks of all that as foolishness. But he doesn’t say anything about us doing it because ‘That’s what the girls do.’ That’s the way he says it.”

And that attitude, Stella says, is why Carl and Dolly’s marriage has stood up over the years, as she explains, “They’re very unique, but they complement each other. They let each other be free to be the way they are.”

Dolly told Closer Weekly, “He really is my best friend,” adding, “If I had it to do all over, I’d do it all over again, and we did.” The couple renewed their vows last year to celebrate their 50 years together. Dolly joked, “I’m dragging him, kicking and screaming, into the next 50 years!”

Stella’s a big fan of Carl too, saying, “He’s a good guy!”

Dolly shared more secrets of their long marriage on her website, explaining that they met outside the Wishy-Washy Laundromat in Nashville, TN, on the first day Dolly moved there!

Dolly said about her first interactions with Carl: “I was surprised and delighted that while he talked to me, he looked at my face (a rare thing for me). He seemed to be genuinely interested in finding out who I was and what I was about.”

Two years later, the couple was married on May 30, 1966, in Ringgold, GA, in a simple ceremony with only her mother, Avie Lee, the preacher, and his wife in attendance.

The site further explains their marriage perfectly: “Nearly every aspect of Dolly and Carl’s personalities compliment one another. While one would think Dolly would be the most entertaining of the two, she often says that it’s Carl’s unique sense of humor which keeps her laughing. Given Dolly’s larger-than-life outlook on everything, it makes perfect sense that her one-and-only would be equally as special in every way.”

Dolly wrote about Carl in her song, “From Here to the Moon and Back,” which includes the following lyrics:

“From here to the moon and back
Who else in this world will love you like that?
Love everlasting, I promise you that
From here to the moon and back”

And 50 years later, they’re still together!