Dolly Parton's husband Carl Dean's as good as Bobbie Gentry at hiding from the public eye. That's been the case throughout Dean's 54-year marriage to Parton, a country music star turned global celebrity.
Some go as far as questioning whether the "Jolene" singer's significant other even exists.
Of course, Parton shuts down these ridiculous rumors about her husband, a former Nashville businessman.
"A lot of people have thought that through the years," Parton told Entertainment Tonight in October. "Because he does not want to be in the spotlight at all. 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 adds. "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."
Dean's willingness to step aside when his wife's on the red carpet or on the set of a Netflix original might be the couple's secret to marriage longevity.
"Our joke about the fact, when people ask me why it's lasted this long, I say, 'Because I stay gone," the country singer says. "And there's a lot of truth in that -- the fact that we're not in each other's faces all the time. But we do have a great respect and admiration for each other. We both have a great sense of humor."
Besides, Dean's musical tastes may not align with "I Will Always Love You" and the Kenny Rogers duet "Islands in the Stream."
"He's not necessarily one of the biggest fans of my music," Parton told Good Morning Britain host Kate Garraway. "He likes hard rock, he likes Led Zeppelin and bluegrass music, so my music is somewhere in between. He doesn't dislike it, but he doesn't go out of his way to play my records, let's put it that way."
As the story goes, a then 21-year-old Carl Thomas Dean first spotted his future wife outside a Wishy Washy Laundromat on the first day Parton had moved to Nashville.
"I met him the first day I got to Nashville, in 1964. I graduated on a Friday night, went to Nashville on a Saturday morning with dirty clothes and I went to a laundromat looking for anything but love. I had just left two boyfriends back home," Parton told Interview in 1984.
Dean told a similar tale when discussing the couple's 50th wedding anniversary.
"My first thought was 'I'm gonna marry that girl.' My second thought was, 'Lord she's good lookin,' he said.
The Tennessee natives wed in Ringgold, Georgia on May 30, 1966.
Parton songs reflecting her love story with Dean include "From Here to the Moon and Back," "Forever Love," "Say Forever You'll Be Mine" and "Tomorrow is Forever."
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