Dolly Parton is one of the most recognizable entertainers in the world, but when it comes to the man she’s married to, even her most devoted fans barely know what he looks like.
That’s because, although the singer, songwriter, author and entrepreneur said “I do” to Carl Dean more than 55 years ago, she doesn’t push her privacy-loving partner into the spotlight.
But every now and again, when there’s a special occasion, Parton takes to social media to share a rare glimpse with her followers, as she did on Thanksgiving Day.
Thursday morning, the “Jolene” singer shared a sweet vintage photo of her and her hubby from the early days of their union. She wore a black minidress with a white, lacy ruffle in the shot, while Dean sported a dark suit with a pink shirt and berry tie. The only matching detail between them was their big smiles.
“Happy #Thanksgiving from me and mine to you and yours ❤️,” Parton wrote in the caption.
While many of the comments in response to the post simply returned the sentiment, there were also plenty of raves about the man beside the beloved country music legend — and in particular, raves about his appearance.
“That’s one handsome man,” one fan wrote, while another declared “Carl Dean was hot! 🔥🔥🔥”
And yet another went with, “I see why you keep that hottie under wraps! 🔥”
In fact, she’s kept him so “under wraps” that there was a time many believed he didn’t even exist.
“A lot of people have thought that through the years, because he does not want to be in the spotlight at all,” Parton explained during an interview with Entertainment Tonight last year. “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 went on to share what he told her when they first got together.
“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,’” she recalled. “And we do and we have.”
But lately, Dean sightings haven’t been quite as rare as they once were.
Earlier this month, the 75-year-old star posted another throwback pic of her and her fella.
“Find you a partner who will support you like my Carl Dean does!” she wrote alongside the obviously-edited photo that showed him wearing one of the T-shirts currently available on her online store.