Dolly Opens Up to Oprah
She's a country music legend, actress, author, Broadway composer and savvy business woman. And Dolly Parton can also add 'interviewee extraordinaire' to that resume, as she never fails to keep us on the edge of our seats with her incomparable knack for storytelling. The iconic entertainer sat down with Oprah Winfrey last week, to discuss her marriage, career and the one thing she never leaves home without. Here are some highlights of their candid conversation:
Dolly on her 44-year marriage to reclusive husband, Carl Dean: "He's proud of me. He's just basically shy about things like that. He doesn't like crowds. And I respect his privacy. I respect the fact that he loves to be out of the limelight. That's one of the reasons I think we've lasted so long ... I've never had to worry that he loves me because I'm a star and I've got money or make money or whatever. I know he loves me for me, and that means a lot to me."
On rumors they have an 'open' marriage: "That just means we let each other be who we are and how we are. But I'd kill him if I knew he was with somebody ... We love people. He knows I'm a flirt and a tease, but it's harmless. I've never met the man that would take his place."
On her unshakable faith: "My grandpa was a preacher. My grandmother was very religious, and she believed through God all things are possible. Every day I pray about all I do ... It keeps me strong. It's best to get outside yourself and it helps to keep some of the pressure off to give it back and ask for help, and I'm not ashamed or afraid to do that."
On coming from extreme poverty to making millions of dollars: "It's hard for me to spend a huge amount on one outfit, like to go to Beverly Hills and say, 'Oh, there's a coat for $5,000.' I'd rather go to Walmart and get a whole bunch of stuff, cause it's all gonna look the same on me. I'm gonna look cheap no matter what I wear!"
On the huge success of Dolly's Imagination Library: "It's a literacy program I started in my hometown many years ago. We started giving books to children from the time they're born, once a month, till they go to kindergarten. And then it started all over Tennessee. The government got involved, and now it's all over the United States ... This is our 25th anniversary, and we are giving away our 25th million book this year."
On refusing to appear without her makeup in public: "The only way I'd be caught without makeup is if my radio fell in the bathtub while I was taking a bath and electrocuted me, and I was in between makeup at home. I hope my husband would slap a little lipstick on me before he took me to the morgue."
On Music City's response to the fatal flood that ravaged Tennessee earlier this month: "All the country stars are always so great to pitch in, and I've started a relief fund too through Dollywood. That will be a wonderful way to help out ... There's so many people who lost everything, so that's what we're really trying to do -- help those people put their lives back together."