There are few stars who have become so famous Dolly Parton and even harder to be loved and admired as universally as Dolly. In this ever-changing world, where new forms of disagreements and arguments emerge daily, Dolly has remained a pop culture staple and a unifying presence who can bring even the most die-hard enemies closer with just a sound of Dolly’s angelic voice.

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An incredibly talented musician, singer and songwriter, Dolly Parton has also ventured into philanthropy and theme parks and the glittering Hollywood world of film throughout her long career. Dolly’s presence in every film she is in always manages to steal the show, and no matter how horrifying a film may be, Dolly Parton will always shine.


Doralee Rhodes – “9 to 5” (1980)

Alongside legendary comedians Lili Tomlin and Jane FondaDolly Parton starred in her first film role as Doralee Rhodes in the hit 1980 workplace comedy 9 to 5, which not only helped establish Dolly Parton’s fruitful acting career, but also helped propel her further to superstardom and become a household name worldwide. Doralee is the secretary of her chauvinistic boss and the film’s main antagonist, Frank Hart (Dabney Coleman), who constantly sexually harasses her and spreads a rumor that they sleep together, causing the rest of the office staff to avoid and ostracize them.

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Dolly is her first movie star and does an excellent job alongside Lily and Jane, helping to depict the rampant sexual harassment that was (and still is) in the workplace at the time, while still being just as funny and is charming like the movie needs her to be. 9 to 5 is undoubtedly Dolly’s best acting, and the film’s message still rings true for modern audiences, for better or for worse.

Mona Stangley – “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” (1982)

Despite the film’s incredibly salacious title, The best little brothel in Texas is surprisingly tame and doesn’t dig deep into anything daring except dressing Dolly in lacy lingerie and other scantily clad outfits from time to time. For the most part, Dolly does an excellent job in this film as the lady of the brothel. The original source material is a musical, allowing Dolly to showcase her exceptional singing, most notably through the recording of Dolly’s own “I Will Always Love You”. However, this film does not quite reach the brilliance 9 to 5 reached.

The chemistry between the romantic leads, Dolly and burt reynolds, is also not really special and conveys less of a sexually tense atmosphere than a boring married couple. Despite its many flaws, including its problematic production, it’s still a fun film with excellent costumes. Dolly’s charming performance and singing will at least be entertaining enough to keep you going.

Jake Farris – “Rhinestone” (1984)

In one of the stranger, more or less forgotten films that Dolly Parton has had a significant role in, is her involvement in strass Next Sylvester Stallone, the biggest flop of all things. The film’s plot revolves around Dolly’s character, Jake, who tries to turn Sylvestor’s character, Nick, a rude New York City cab driver, into a true country music sensation.

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The film was a major critical and commercial flop, and Sylvester has even admitted in later interviews that he regretted making the film. Still, she and Stallone reportedly had a lot of fun working together, so there’s at least a silver lining. This film is nowhere near on par with her previous or future glittering films in her career, but at least it wasn’t a nightmare in production.

Truvy Jones – “Steel Magnolias” (1989)

Dolly Parton in Steel magnolias is a real return to form for Dolly’s film career and is more than a joy to see alongside a boy Julia Roberts, Sally Field, and Shirley MacLaine. The film is based on the play of the same name by Robert Harling, Written in memory of his sister’s sudden death, it is the first drama Dolly ever starred in. She plays the role of Truvy, the town’s hairdresser, whose home serves as a base for the other female characters to gossip and get closer, with Truvy’s home becoming a beacon of female solidarity and love.

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Heartbreaking, emotional and deeply moving, the film is one of Dolly’s best films and performances of all time. It’s no surprise that another film directed by a female cast like 9 to 5, allowed Dolly to really shine and not have to rely on romance or chemistry with one of Hollywood’s leading men, allowed her natural charm to work brilliantly on the other actresses’ talents, and showcased her humor and kindness rather than her sex appeal. Steel magnolias is a must for any Dolly Parton fan and will find a place in your heart.

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