Dolly Parton is sharing some rare insight into her 56-year marriage to Carl Thomas Dean. Parton spoke with ET’s Rachel Smith in Nashville, where she shared the secret to their long-lasting union.
“I think I’ve talked pretty much about everything through the years with Carl, and we’re different people,” Parton began. “But we just work so well together.”
“He’s kind of a loner so he doesn’t really like being with anybody but me, when I’m home — I mean, he’s not one to kind of get out there and socialize that much. He loves living on the farm, taking care of the property as he has for all these many years, and then, we just have a lot to talk about,” she explained.
In addition to their differences, Parton said it’s the laughter they share that brings them closer together.
“He loves music ,but he’s not in the music business at all, so we have different things to talk about, his world and my world, and we work really well together,” Parton continued. “We have a lot of love and respect for each other, and I think the key to all of it — we both have a crazy, warped sense of humor, so we have a lot of fun.”
The couple met at a laundromat in the ’60s and have been together ever since.
“We actually have been married 56 years, but we’ve been together 58,” the 76-year-old singer shared. “That’s a long time to be doing anything. It’s nice to be married in this business.”
Parton, who just released her own line of Duncan Hines cake mixes, has previously spoken about her relationship with Dean, and why they’ve chosen to keep their marriage largely out of the spotlight.
“He does not want to be in the spotlight at all,” Parton said while speaking with ET in 2020. “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.”
“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.”
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