Dolly Parton is larger than life. She’s a superstar through and through, with a radiant personality, flashy style and penchant for always looking camera ready — and her husband, Carl Thomas Dean, is the exact opposite.
In fact, Dean “doesn’t like to be seen,” Parton told Ellen DeGeneres in 2011 (hence why the photo to accompany this story is of Parton only). Knowing that, Dean and Parton sound like an absolute mismatch, but their love story is as unique as the singer herself.
On May 30, 1966, Parton and Dean walked down the aisle in Ringgold, Ga., just two years after they met. And they met … at the Wishy Washy Laundromat. Parton had moved to Nashville that day and was doing her laundry when Dean drove by in his white Chevy pickup truck — and then drove by again for a second look.
The couple was young when they married: She was 20, and he was 23. And more than half a century later, they are still together.
“They say that opposites attract, and it’s true,” Parton tells People. “We’re completely opposite, but that’s what makes it fun. I never know what he’s gonna say or do. He’s always surprising me. ”
Though she’s a self-proclaimed flirt, Parton attests to her deep commitment to marriage.
“He knows I’m a flirt and a tease, but it’s harmless,” says the “Jolene” singer. “I’ve never met the man that would take his place.