Dolly Parton Recreated Her 1978 Playboy Cover

More than 40 years later, Parton can still rock a bunny suit

Dolly Parton poses for Playboy in a bunny suit, ears and bow tie
Dolly Parton's original Playboy cover shoot from 1978
Harry Langdon/Getty Images

Four decades after our lord and savior Dolly Parton first graced the cover of Playboy decked out in the brand’s iconic bunny suit, the 75-year-old star is once again rocking bunny ears. Parton has previously said that she would’ve liked to celebrate her milestone birthday this year by posing for another Playboy cover, but since the print mag ended its run last March, the star instead decided to recreate the shoot herself, breaking out the bunny suit as a surprise for her husband’s 79th birthday.

“Remember some time back I said I was going to pose on Playboy magazine when I’m 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,” Parton explained while wearing bunny ears in a video shared on Instagram. “He still thinks I’m a hot chick after 57 years and I’m not going to try to talk him out of that,” she said.

Parton sat for a recreation of the photo shoot to surprise her husband, 79-year-old Carl Dean, to whom the star has been married for nearly 60 years. Comparing the results of the new shoot to her original October 1978 cover, on which Parton flashes a wide grin while adjusting her Playboy bunny bowtie, the star remarked that she “was kind of a little butterball in that one,” after which things briefly took a strange turn as Parton churned out a series of cheese metaphors. Having apparently graduated from her butterball days, Parton considers herself “string cheese” now, though her husband will probably think she’s “cream cheese,” or so she hopes, she added with a wink. I won’t pretend to know what any of that means, but if Dolly Parton wants to be cream cheese, then who are we mere mortals to argue?

Cheese metaphors aside, Parton isn’t the only former Playboy model hoping to return to the magazine decades later. Last year, Suzanne Somers said she, too, would like to celebrate her 75th birthday by returning to Playboy, in which she appeared twice in the ’80s.

That encore Playboy shoot may still be in Somers’ future — she doesn’t turn 75 until October. But when you’re Dolly Parton, you don’t wait around for Playboy. When you’re Dolly Parton, you simply make your own Playboy cover.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.