Dolly Parton Praises Husband Carl Dean for His Unwavering Support Behind the Scenes

For much of Dolly Parton's lengthy career, her husband, Carl Thomas Dean, has remained out of the spotlight. The couple wed in 1966, one year before Parton's freshman Hello, I'm Dolly album was released. Over the decades since then, Parton has sold albums, won awards, toured the world and proved herself to be a savvy businesswoman, although Dean has been noticeably absent from most of Parton's pivotal moments. But the 73-year-old says that just because Dean isn't there, doesn't mean he doesn't support his famous wife.

"He's always supporting me as long as I don't try to drag him in on it," Parton told PEOPLE. "He's always been my biggest fan behind the scenes, but he's at home ... But anyway, he'd never come dragging around. I'd rather bring somebody else with me, you know? He's never jealous of that either."

Parton's Heartstrings will premiere on Netflix on Nov. 22. The series, featuring Julianne Hough and Kimberly Williams-Paisley, among others, is based on songs written by Parton.

"All my life I've been writing songs," Parton explained. "In the early days, we didn't even have technology. I started writing songs because we didn't have a chance to go to movies and we didn't have TV in those early days, so I would write songs, just make up stories that were really kind of like movies, and I would sing them. It was entertainment to us."

"I love to paint pictures in my songs and tell stories," she continued. "So it really was just a natural fit to do a series based on songs I've written, and I'm glad it worked out."

The Tennessee native recently revealed that the long-awaited 9 to 5 sequel, starring Parton along with original cast members Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda, would likely not happen, although she didn't rule out another collaboration with her former co-stars.

"I don't think we're going to do the sequel," Parton admitted to Entertainment Tonight. "We never could get the script where it was enough different than the first one, and that one turned out so good ... We're thinking we might do a completely different thing together, Jane, Lily and I. We may do something different altogether, but I don't think we'll continue with [the sequel]."


Parton will join Reba McEntire in helping Carrie Underwood host the CMA Awards this year, and will also perform. The show will air on Wednesday, Nov. 13, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Photo Credit: Getty / Kevork Djansezian