Dolly Parton, 69, ‘I don’t intend to ever retire. I want to work until I fall over dead’

Can you believe that national treasure Dolly Parton is 69 years old? She has that ageless look that comes with lots of makeup, tons of fake hair, and the cumulative effect of plastic surgery. Dolly will tell you about it too. She’ll also tell you that she’s happiest working and that she doesn’t plan to stop until she’s physically unable to. In a new interview with People Magazine, Dolly talks about her latest business endeavors, her plans for the future, and how she wants people to remember her. She’s as funny and self deprecating as ever. This is a brief piece in People but I really wanted to cover it.

On Dollywood
When we first opened [in 1985], I was so scared. I was just thinking ‘Oh, please. Let the people come.’

On her career
I don’t intend to ever retire unless I get sick or my husband gets sick. I want to work until I fall over dead!

On the TV movies she’s developing for NBC
[They’re based on] stories from my life and songs that I’ve written.

She wants her own cosmetics line
I’m in my own class, but it’s mostly low. I have my makeup on every day. It’s how I feel comfortable.

On what she wants people to celebrate about her
There’s a brain under the wig and a heart beneath the boobs. I may look artificial, but inside I’m totally real.

[From People Magazine, print edition, April 6, 2015]

People notes that Dolly is opening a new resort this summer in Dollywood, called DreamMore. It looks pretty incredible and like it’s specially tailored for kids and families. I didn’t realize what a big deal Dollywood is, but the amusement park has been around for 30 years and is thriving. There’s also a sister waterpark, Dollywood’s Splash Country.

As for Dolly herself, I’m surprised she doesn’t have a makeup line already. She’s shown that she can pretty much do whatever she sets her mind to. She’s an incredible lady and we know that she’s got a big heart too. Have you heard about her Imagination Library? Every child under five in her home county, Sevier county, Tennessee, is eligible to receive a free book a month up to age five. They also serve 1600 other communities in the US, Canada, Australia and The UK.

Legend Dolly Parton performs live on Today Show

Glastonbury Festival 2014

Glastonbury Festival 2014 - Day 4

Photo credit: Getty Images and

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

45 Responses to “Dolly Parton, 69, ‘I don’t intend to ever retire. I want to work until I fall over dead’”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. bettyrose says:

    Word. Retirement is for soul-sucking office jobs, not creative callings.

  2. Cindy says:

    She is so awesome.

  3. EC says:

    Her quotes remind me of things Joan would say. They share a similar hustle and joie de vivre. Keep it up, Dolly!

    • AtlLady says:

      I was just thinking that Dolly would be a hoot on Fashion Police if they would just let her be herself.

  4. TQB says:

    She is the brightest star in my sky… always a better day when I read something about her. “I’m in my own class, but it’s mostly low.” DOLLY FOREVER.

  5. QQ says:

    Goddamit Dolly!! she is up there with Betty White and Will Ferrel in my Things that make me happy things

  6. paola says:

    Oh Dolly despite all the make up and plastic surgery you truly are the real deal. No one is more real than you.

  7. Dragonlady Sakura says:

    Dolly Parton and Betty White are national treasures that can NEVER retire! I wanna be kickass and still working for the joy of it when I get older. Like them.

  8. Amy Tennant says:

    My favorite line from Dolly was when she said she didn’t mind when people called her a dumb blonde because “I know I’m not dumb, and I know I’m not blonde!” She is my freaking role model.

    • mytbean says:

      I like, “”I love bald men. Just because you’ve lost your fuzz, don’t mean you ain’t a peach.”

      • JM says:

        My favorites have always been “It takes a lot of money to look this cheap” and “My weaknesses have always been food and men-in that order.”

    • Crumpet says:

      My favorite is, “It takes a lot of money to look this cheap!”

  9. Joy says:

    She’s flawless and does no wrong in my book. I heart her so much.

  10. Brin says:

    Dang, Dolly, you are fabulous!!

  11. TX says:

    LOVE HER. She is just the greatest ever

  12. Betti says:

    I love Dolly – particularly her ‘Dollyism’. I want to be her granddaughter.

  13. j.eyre says:

    I forgot what we are supposed to do or say to support a post – thump our chests? Holler? Frantically wave our hands like we have 5 minutes until prom and our nails are still wet? Whatever it is, I will do it for Dolly and as many times as requested – I adore her.

  14. INeedANap says:

    Dolly for President 2016!

  15. Imo says:

    If she tips over it won’t be because of working too hard lol.
    Love her so much though. – always have.

  16. Abby says:

    “There’s a brain under the wig and a heart beneath the boobs. I may look artificial, but inside I’m totally real.” I love Dolly so so much.

  17. Jag says:

    Dolly is the person – other than Nikola Tesla – that I would want to sit on a bench with, a la that meme. She is incredible! Smart, savvy, and has such a wonderful, giving heart, too. (Charro would be third.)

  18. JenniferJustice says:

    Everything she says every time is so simple and yet completely golden. She is forever an inspiration.

  19. Lurker says:

    I LOVE HER. She is so talented and so awesome and just the best. Rock on, Dolly!

  20. Christin says:

    She IS Sevier County, and basically helped her hometown of Sevierville eclipse Gatlinburg as a Great Smoky Mountain destination.

    Imagination Library is not only a great program, the story behind it is touching. Dolly has said that her father (like many poor youth of his generation) did not receive a proper education as he struggled to make a living. He was a smart person. and she wondered what he could have accomplished if he had the opportunity to learn how to read and write.

  21. Guesto says:

    All-Round-Fabulous made flesh.

  22. Sayrah says:

    Love her! My son just got his last imagination library book two weeks ago because he turned 5 and I got a little sad.

  23. ReignbowGirl says:

    I saw her on a local talk show once, and one of the audience members asked her during the Q & A how long it took to do her hair. She said, “Oh, honey, I have no idea! I’m never there!” I’m not a country music fan much, but I could just listen to her talk about stuff for days!

    • lucy2 says:

      That’s hilarious! I love that she just flat out owns it, and always has. Refreshing in comparison to other celebrities who try to deny the obvious.
      She’s a kind and witty soul.

  24. Lucybelle says:

    I adore this woman! She can do no wrong in my eyes.

  25. cari says:

    Dolly Parton can do no wrong in my eyes. I have loved and admired her from a young age. I am genuinely happy that she succeeds at life. I feel she is a true, genuine soul. I wish her many years of success, and good health.

  26. Lucy says:

    Fabulous in every way!!!

  27. MtnRunner says:

    Honking for Dolly! I hope she does work until she drops dead… well into triple digits. I love her.

  28. Jess says:

    Love Dolly! And yes – I don’t ever want to retire (although I’d really like to change careers one of these days) and I think most of us should be working longer. 65 is way too young to retire these days!

  29. Dawn says:

    Really she is only 69? I feel like she should be more like 70 something. But whatever she is one cool woman and I love her outlook on life. She is always entertaining that’s for sure.

  30. melain says:

    I love Dolly! I just saw an episode of Drunk History about her. I know she is an amazing lady, but I had never heard the story of how Porter Wagner tried to screw her and how she responded by being AWESOME.

  31. Senaber says:

    Honk honk!

  32. gritsngreens says:

    she is an absolute TREASURE! <3!!!