Dolly Parton Shares the Secret to Her 56-Year Marriage: ‘A Warped Sense of Humor’

Dolly Parton revealed her recipe for a successful marriage in a new interview on Monday (Dec. 19).

“I like it when people say, ‘How did it last so long?’ I say, ‘I stay going,'” the country legend told ET Canada of her 56-year union with husband Carl Dean. “You know, there’s a lot to be said about that. So we’re not in each other’s face all the time. He’s not in the business, so we have different interests, but yet we have the things we love to do together. So it was meant to be, I think. He was the one I was supposed to have and vice versa.”

As the story goes, Parton met her future hubby at a laundromat the day she arrived in Nashville, and the pair have been going strong ever since. “We both have a warped sense of humor,” she added. “And I think humor, honestly, is one of the best things when you’re married like that. Even if you have a problem, if you have a great sense of humor, if you say something you can’t take back [you] usually have some crazy way of getting out of it.”


Parton has had a busy December, from finally joining TikTok to stopping by The Kelly Clarkson Show to duet with Kelly Clarkson on “9 to 5.” Plus, her latest compilation album, Diamonds & Rhinestones: The Greatest Hits Collection, bowed in the top five of the Top Country Albums chart (dated Dec. 3).

Next up for the country icon is her co-hosting gig for NBC’s upcoming New Year’s special, Miley’s New Year’s Eve Party, with goddaughter Miley Cyrus.

Glenn Rowley