Dolly Parton on Love, Her Looks, and Why She Never Had Kids

Dolly Parton in New York this week. (Photo: Donna Svennevik/Getty)She's a mega star and a country music icon, but Dolly Parton still has a few secrets up her sleeve -- and she's finally ready to share them. In her new memoir, "Dream More: Celebrate the Dreamer in You," which came out this week, she takes on the rumors, talks about her famous style, and says she has no regrets about what she's done with her life.

Parton, 66, says that her signature look -- big blonde hair, big breasts, and plenty f makeup -- was inspired by a certain woman in her town with a bad reputation.

"That is an absolute truth," Parton said in an interview with Nightline." "There was this woman, we won't call her names, but she was beautiful. I had never seen anybody, you know, with the yellow hair all piled up and the red lipstick and the rouge and the high heeled shoes, and I thought, 'This is what I want to look like.'"

Though she's been married for 46 years (to Carl Dean, who stays well out of the spotlight), Parton has always had to deal with questions about her love life.

"I've... been accused of being involved with every man I'm ever seen with or worked with," she said, including both Burt Reynolds and Sylvester Stallone. "Maybe I have, maybe I ain't. I never tell if I have. But you know people always saying that."

In 2011, she told the Daily Mail that she likes to keep the rumor-mill going.

"'I love to flirt, and I've never met a man I didn't like,' she admitted. 'Men are my weakness. Short, fat, bald or skinny - I've had crushes on some very unusual men but Carl knows I'll always come home and I'm not having sex with these people - I'm just flirting and having fun."

But there's one rumor she's more than willing to put to rest: Like Oprah Winfrey, whose relationship with best friend Gayle King has sparked curiosity about her sexuality, Parton's longtime friendship with Judy Ogle has led many to wonder if she's gay. (She's not.)

"Judy and I have been best friends since we were like in the third and fourth grade," she said. "I mean, I love her as much as I love anybody in the whole world, but we're not romantically involved."

Parton says that she's satisfied with her career and would love to keep working. "I will never retire unless I had to," Parton insists. "As long as I'm able to get up in the morning, get that makeup on, get those high heels on. Even if I can't wear the high heels, if I'm not able to wear 'em, I'm going to do like Mae West and sit in a wheelchair with my high heels on and have somebody wheel me around."

But, she adds, she has no regrets about the things she hasn't done. While she occasionally wonders what her kids would have looked like -- her husband is tall and dark, and she's petite and blonde, she points out -- she's never longed for parenthood.

"God didn't let me have kids so everybody's kids could be mine," she said. "I can keep my nieces and nephews and then when I'm sick of them, I can say, 'Hey, come get these kids, they're driving me crazy.' I'm a Great Aunt Granny, is what they call me."