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Dolly Parton Hid a Photo of Her Mysterious Husband in Plain Sight — And We All Missed It

Carl Dean is Dolly's Blue Ridge Mountain Boy.


Dolly Parton is one of the most open celebrities out there. All you have to do is ask her a question and you’ll get a charmingly honest response. But fans know there’s at least one thing about the country queen that’s always been shrouded in mystery — her husband.

Despite being married for more than five decades, we hardly ever see Parton’s hubby Carl Dean by her side. That’s not to say there’s any trouble in paradise, of course. As she once explained to Entertainment Tonight, “[Carl’s] 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. I’ve always respected and appreciated that in him and I’ve always tried to keep him out of the limelight as much as I can.” She added, “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.”

However, there’s one notable exception that even Parton’s biggest fans may have missed over the years. You can spot Dean taking part in her celebrity world early on in her career — hidden in plain sight on the cover of an album!  

Take a look:

Dolly Parton album cover

It’s understandable that we’d be distracted by Parton’s dramatic pose in the foreground of her fourth album, but that isn’t a hired hunk lounging on the log in the background. It’s Dean, who seems to be taking on the titular role of My Blue Ridge Mountain Boy (Buy on Amazon, $9.99) back in 1969.

We’re sure more than a few fans have this record sitting in their collection right now and never clocked Dean’s appearance. Although it’s unlikely he’s popped up anywhere since then, we are suddenly inspired to double-check all of Parton’s albums, and maybe even her film and TV appearances, just to be sure. 

The couple is approaching 57 years of marriage, so here’s hoping we’ll get lucky with another glimpse of Parton and Dean together in their clearly solid future.

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