Dolly Parton Recreated Her 1978 Playboy Shoot for Her Husband’s Birthday

Videos by Rare

Videos by Rare

The Queen of Country. Backwoods Barbie. The Smokey Mountain Songbird. Dolly Parton has an endless repertoire of nicknames and looks to boot. Yet, she’s still the same Dolly that America fell in love with decades ago. Proof: She recreated her iconic 1978 Playboy shoot for her husband’s birthday, at age 75.

“New Dolly” Parton Vs. “Old Dolly” Parton: The Playboy Recreation

Dolly Parton hasn’t really changed, folks. That’s an incredible feat for someone with her kind of success story. Not to mention, her looks. How many 75-year-olds can mimic their 32-year-old selves?

In July 2021, Dolly Parton posted a video to her Instagram that unsurprisingly went viral at an astonishing pace. There she was, bunny ears, bowtie, and all. Her cleavage was demurely obscured with a skin-colored, rhinestone-laden body stocking. She had long, hot-pink nails and full makeup. It was the Dolly Parton we’ve come to know, done up in the “gaudy” style she prefers, but as a Playboy bunny.

Dolly Parton’s #HotGirlSummer

“It’s always #HotGirlSummer for my husband, Carl,” she wrote, adding a gift-wrapped heart emoji at the end.

In the video, she addresses her fans and explains that she did this all to surprise her hubby of 57 years.

“Hey. Today is July 20. It’s my husband Carl’s birthday,” says Dolly into the camera, which someone else is holding. “And you’re probably wondering why I’m dressed like this. Well, it’s for my husband’s birthday. Remember, sometime back I said I was going to pose on the Playboy Magazine when I was 75? Well, I’m 75 and they don’t have a magazine anymore. But my husband always loved the original cover of Playboy. So, I was trying to think of something to do to make him happy.

“He still thinks I’m a hot chick after 57 years. And I’m not going to try to talk him out of that. And I hope he agrees. What do you think?” Dolly shows off her body a little bit when she says this then smiles and laughs.

It’s really a wowzah moment because she’s actually so stunning and she’s 75 in this video.

“Anyway, what I did for his birthday: I did a little photo shoot in this little outfit. And um, I had a cover made of the ‘New Dolly.’ Or the ‘Old-New Dolly,’ And, in the first one, see? Remember this?” Dolly holds up a side-by-side of the 1978 Playboy cover next to her new photo shoot. To be honest, she’s almost hotter in the new one, which is just astonishing.

From “Butterball” to “String Cheese”

“I was kind of a little butterball in that one,” she says. “Well, I’m string cheese now. But he’ll probably think I’m cream cheese.” She winks. “I hope.”

Dolly then says she intends to surprise her husband Carl by going in and singing to him in her outfit. As she asks her fans what they think, a photo of her surprising Carl shows her bending over and smiling at him in her bunny costume. She’s holding the side-by-side magazine covers (the original and the remake). All we can see of Carl is the back of his head, but that’s to be expected. Dolly actually told Playboy in 1978 that he likes to stay away from the camera.

The Instagram video has since received over 3.6 million views. Not to mention, it’s gone down in history as “that time Dolly Parton did a photoshoot for Playboy at age 75.” Technically, it wasn’t taken by Playboy, but it’s Dolly Parton, so…

Even she says, “What do you think? Do you think Playboy ought to pay me for at least the photoshoot? I do.”

Dolly Parton’s 1978 Playboy Interview with Lawrence Grobel Took 7 Hours

Dolly Parton has only appeared in Playboy once, in 1978. She donned the quintessential Playmate outfit on the cover of the magazine. Within the pages was a lengthy interview by Lawrence Grobel, taken from an intimate, 7-hour-long conversation that occurred from 10 pm to 5 am.

Above, you can listen to an animated excerpt from the interview but the full transcript is available to read in Playboy’s archives here.

Dolly’s demeanor is sweet and flirty. She has a blunt way of speaking and an uncanny way of brushing off ostentatious interview questions without making it awkward. Also, she’s unafraid of getting into the details of her life. She experimented with sex at a very young age, often with people who were related to her by some extension. She got peed on by her younger siblings on a nightly basis in the wintertime. And she hated school, but she managed to be the first of her family to graduate from high school.

Dolly and Carl Love and Trust Each Other

The country star also wouldn’t completely dismiss the idea of cheating on her husband or being cheated on, but also inferred that it wouldn’t happen because they loved each other.

When asked what would happen if he went astray, she said, “I wouldn’t want to know and he wouldn’t want to tell me. But if he did, it wouldn’t be like the end of the world for me. I would just say it was as much my fault as his. I would probably cry and pout for a day for the attention of it, and then it would be over. To me, life is life and people is people. You cannot control every emotion that you have.”

Vise versa, she said, “He wouldn’t want to know. I think I would keep it from him. He would be more apt to tell than me. He knows I ain’t goin’ nowhere. No matter who I met or what kind of an affair I might ever have, ain’t nobody in this world could take Carl’s place. There ain’t no way in this world I’d ever lose this man.”

Dolly Parton’s Playboy Omitted Nudity


Dolly was smiling in her Playboy cover photo, pinching the front of her bowtie collar, and looking straight at the camera. The picture only showed her from her chest up. The rest of the spread features Dolly in the same exact outfit. There really is no excess skin or anything too risqué going on. Her poses maintain an air of conservativism, and she’s still her smiling self.

A decade ago, Dolly Parton told Chicago’s US 99 radio station that she agreed to do the photo shoot as long as she could stay covered up.

“I wasn’t naked; all you saw was me in my bunny suit, with my boobs sticking out a little,” said Dolly. “I wouldn’t do a layout. I’m not that brave, nor do I look that good!”

Dolly Refused to Do “The Whole Dirty Deal”

“I have been asked, back in the day, but that was so totally not me. I would never do that,” Dolly continued. “But that was a good article they ran in there, and it was just a fun thing to do. That was just another way I was trying to market myself, at that time, to kinda get in the mainstream and take it right to the edge, but not do the whole dirty deal.”

This sentiment was echoed in the Playboy article itself. Speaking to Grobel, Dolly said that she wasn’t afraid of nudity while at home. But she was very aware of how being naked might affect her fans.

“I was afraid at first, when we talked about it,” she said. “I didn’t want to be naked or something on the front of a magazine unless everybody knew it was a joke. I mean, I wouldn’t want to be naked even then. It might not offend me, but I was afraid maybe a lot of my country fans and some of the people who love me who are of a religious nature might not understand.”

The Playboy Shoot Was Demure, But Featured a Creepy Bunny in a Tuxedo

However, despite Dolly Parton’s angelic undertones, there is one detail in her Playboy spread that certainly raises some eyebrows. It’s not Dolly herself. It’s the creepy bunny standing behind her or next to her in every picture. Dolly is just prancing around him, using him as a prop. But his eyes look bloodshot and he’s kind of frightening. It’s like the Donny Darko bunny but dressed up in a tuxedo.

I have to say this for Dolly. Her Playboy cover shoot recreation was perfect, and I’m so glad she chose that over the centerfolds. Because that creepy tuxedoed bunny man probably would have given Carl a heart attack.

Read More: Remember When Sharon Stone Strategically Did Playboy

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