Country music legend Dolly Parton has been married to Carl Dean for more than 55 years — though the public has hardly seen him at all in that time.
But Tuesday afternoon, she shared a fun throwback photo of the two of them together to promote her latest line of merchandise.
In the photo, Dean appears to be wearing a Parton T-shirt — though it’s likely edited, since the same one is available in her online store.
“Find you a partner who will support you like my Carl Dean does!” she wrote.
Of course, Dean has been supportive of Parton’s independence and career over the years.
The two met the first day she moved to Nashville to pursue music in a laundromat, she has previously said, and went on their first date at McDonald’s. They married in 1966 and have stayed together ever since.
“My husband and I have been together for 57 years, been married 54, and I’m sick of him, and I’m sure he’s sick of me,” Parton laughed in December 2020 on the “Table Manners” podcast.
Dean has kept such a low profile that Parton has had to debunk rumors that he doesn’t exist.
“A lot of people have thought that through the years because he does not want to be in the spotlight at all,” Parton told “Entertainment Tonight” in October 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.”
She added that she’s always respected that and tries to “keep him out of the limelight as much as I can.”
“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,” she said.
The two never had children, which Parton opened up about to Oprah Winfrey last year.
“Since I had no kids, and my husband was pretty independent, I had freedom,” she said on Winfrey’s AppleTV+ show. “So I think a big part of my whole success is the fact that I was free to work.”