Dolly Rebecca Parton was born on 19th January 1946 in Locust Ridge, Tennessee, to Robert Lee Parton and Avie Lee Parton (nee. Owens). From these humble roots, she has become an actress, one of the greatest Country and Western singers of all time (if not the greatest), and international superstar. She was one of 12 children to her parents, she has five sisters and six brothers, some of whom have also made their livings in the entertainment industry. Her impoverished, yet cherished, childhood and her Christian faith have provided much inspiration for her song-writing, producing "Coat of Many Colours" and "God's Colouring Book" respectively.
Parton is particularly well known for her glamourous glittery image, and although she is naturally pretty and well-formed, she is not adversed to plastic surgery and other methods to keep her looking "the best that she can". it is reported that she has had breast enhancements and a face lift, skin peels, botox and collagen treatments. As she once said in an interview, "I will never graduate from Collagen"
Having appeared on Knoxville television at twelve years old, and recording for a small label at thirteen, Parton got her first major break whilst struggling as a songwriter and living with her uncle, Bill Owens, in Nashville. She came to the attention of Porter Wagner, who at the time had a sucessful television variety show. She became Wagner's featured duet partner on the show, which lead to a recording contract with RCA in 1967. Her first single was one such duet with Wagner, which made the top ten in the country radio charts and started off a six-year period of top ten singles for Parton.
Although her career was stable and quite sucessful, she had not yet achieved superstar status. However, this began to change in 1974 with her number one single "Jolene", and in 1977 she had her first major hit with "Here You Come Again". A full list of her songs proved too extensive to put here - however you can find a definitive list here.
After further musical success in 1980, she made her acting debut opposite Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Dabney Coleman in the hit revenge comedy 9 to 5. She recieved an Oscar nomination for this film, as composer of the title song. As in most of her subsequent acting endeavors, Parton essentially played herself and her performance in this film which earned her other film-roles, (a list of which is included below) and even a television variety show of her own, although that was somewhat short-lived.
• 9 to 5 (1980)
• The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982)
• Dolly Parton - Dolly in London (1983)
• Rhinestone (1984)
• A Smoky Mountain Christmas (1986)
• Country Love Songs (1987)
• Video Love Songs (1989)
• Steel Magnolias (1989)
• Straight Talk (1992)
• Tootsie's Orchid Lounge (1995)
• Unlikely Angel (1996)
• Blue Valley Songbird (1999)
• Chet Atkins - A Life in Music (2000)
• Dolly Parton - Blue Valley Songbird (2001)
• Country Legends (2001)
• Frank McKlusky, C.I. (2002)
The Present Day
Currently she heads a hundred-million dollar media empire - Dolly Parton Enterprises. In 1986, this company opened "Dollywood", a theme-park which celebrated her upbringing in Tennessee. She continues song-writing, performing and appearing on chat-shows to the present day. Recently she has written songs for other artists, such as "I Will Always Love You" which was performed by Whitney Houston, and featured in the film "The Bodyguard"., which Parton originally performed herself in the film "The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas".