Were Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner Ever a Couple?

Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner were married — but not to each other 

When Parton joined The Porter Wagoner Show, she was already married to her husband Carl Dean, who she met in 1964, soon after she moved to Nashville. Parton and Dean tied the knot in 1966 and have been married ever since. 

Dean stays out of the spotlight, leading some fans to believe he doesn’t actually exist. But Parton says that’s just the way the couple likes it. 

“He does not want to be in the spotlight at all,” Parton told Entertainment Tonight in 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.”

As for Wagoner, during the time he worked with Parton, he was married to, but separated from, his second wife, Ruth. The two split up in 1965 but did not divorce until 1986, according to a report from UPI. He blamed his wife’s jealousy for the breakdown of their marriage.  

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