Why This Photo Of Dolly Parton's Husband Has Twitter In A Tizzy

Dolly Parton recently posted a throwback photo of herself and her husband, Carl Thomas Dean, and fans can't get enough of it.

The iconic country singer and her husband of 55 years first met outside of Nashville's Wishy Washy Laundromat in 1964. She was only 18 and he was 21. "My first thought was, 'I'm gonna marry that girl,'" Dean recalled in 2016, the year they renewed their vows at their 50th wedding anniversary celebration. "My second thought was, 'Lord she's good lookin'.' And that was the day my life began." Just two years later, as Parton's career was just beginning to take off, the pair were married in a small church in Georgia where the only guests were her mother, the preacher, and the preacher's wife.

While Parton's incredibly successful career and her extroverted nature has had her in the spotlight for decades, Dean doesn't share the affinity for being in the public eye — and perhaps that's one aspect of their relationship that has contributed to its longevity. "He's always supporting me as long as I don't try to drag him in on it," Parton told People in 2019. "He's always been my biggest fan behind the scenes, but he's at home... He'd never come dragging around. I'd rather bring somebody else with me, you know? He's never jealous of that either."

So when Parton decided to post a rare photo of her hubby, fans immediately took notice.

Twitter erupted after Dolly Parton shared a throwback photo with her husband

Dolly Parton took to Twitter on November 2 to share an old-school photo to promote her Dolly Vintage Collage Tee, which is currently on sale on her website. "Find you a partner who will support you like my Carl Dean does!" she captioned the picture, which has been Photoshopped to make it appear as though her young husband was wearing the T-shirt. Fans immediately reacted to the vintage photo of the couple, gushing about their 55-year marriage and even longer love affair. "Tell him he's a smart man for not trying to cage a butterfly," one Twitter user replied. "Your marriage is such an inspiration!" another fan responded.

This photo is one of only a handful of times that Parton's fans and the public have caught a glimpse of her mysterious husband of 55 years. The pair have kept their romance so private over the past five decades that many people have accused Parton of lying about Dean's existence.

However, as she told Entertainment Tonight in 2020, Parton did not want to expose the reserved businessman to the public scrutiny that she encounters on a daily basis. "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. "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."