DON’T LOOK now, but some senior stars are stealing the thunder from their much younger colleagues this season, thanks to their “unsinkable” talent, still coruscating charisma and innate news-making ability.
Topping our list this season is country-pop icon Dolly Parton, who isn’t only turning 70, but is also celebrating her 50th wedding anniversary—possibly a first for notoriously marriage-unfriendly Hollywood!
It was way back in May 1966 that then 20-year-old Dolly pledged her troth to Carl Thomas Dean, her husband for a full half-century now. Dean seldom appears in public, and Dolly credits his innate “reclusivity and exclusivity” as a key factor in the long-running success of their union, despite the many “distractions” in Hollywood.
Highlights of Dolly’s colorfully eventful career include these landmark dates: 1959, when she performed (at age 10) for the first time at the iconic Grand Ole Opry, the “cathedral” of country music performances; 1974, “I Will Always Love You” goes No. 1 on country charts; 1975, Dolly is named CMA female vocalist of the year;
1976, she stars in her first syndicated television variety show, “Dolly”; 1977, she appears on the star-making “Tonight” show for the first time; 1979, she wins her first Grammy; 1980, she stars in the hit film, “9 to 5” with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin;
1986, her Dollywood theme park opens; 1989, her hit movie, “Steel Magnolias,” is released; 1999, she’s inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame; 2004, she accepts the Living Legend medal from the Library of Congress; 2015, her DreamMore Resort opens in Pigeon Forge, and her film bio, “Coat of Many Colors,” airs on NBC.
Parton has had a record 25 songs reach No. 1 on the Billboard country charts.
On the big screen, she’s best known for “9 to 5.” The film became such a contemporary classic that it was adapted as a Broadway musical in 2009—and Parton was tapped to write the score for the production.
People keep asking Dolly when she and her costars, Jane and Lily, will do a “seniors’ followup” to their iconic costarrer. Recently, she puckishy riposted that, given the “advanced” age they shared, it was most unlikely that it would or even could take place. —But, if it did, it would have to be retitled, from “9 to 5” to “95!”