Dolly Parton Still Has a Valuable Keepsake From ‘The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas’

After over five decades in the entertainment industry, Dolly Parton has accumulated a great deal of memorabilia from her music and film work. At Dollywood’s Chasing Rainbows Museum, fans can track the progression of her career and revisit her best moments. Some of her memorabilia, however, is too valuable to confine to the museum. She found a keepsake from her role in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas that means too much to her to put in a museum.  

At Dollywood, Dolly Parton has a museum of her keepsakes

Parton opened her Chasing Rainbows Museum on Dollywood grounds in 2002. It provides a walkthrough of her prolific life and career, reaching as far back as her upbringing in the Smoky Mountains. 

“Whether you’re a Dolly Parton fan, a dreamer, or you just love cheering for the unlikely hero, Chasing Rainbows Museum is an attraction you need to see,” the Dollywood website explains. “Dolly and her team created this museum to tell the story of her life and career. It features interactive elements and behind-the-scenes collections and keepsakes— from her humble beginnings to her legendary opportunities.”

She has a keepsake from ‘The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas’

In 1982, Parton starred in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas alongside Burt Reynolds. In the film, she plays Miss Mona, the owner of a legendary Texas brothel. Years after filming, Parton said that she found a pair of false eyelashes that she wore while filming.

“You always keep some things like that,” she told Vanity Fair. “The other day I opened up my false eyelash drawer, and in the back of that, I found eyelashes that I had worn in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas — because they were longer.”

She explained that while she has the museum dedicated to her life and career, some objects are too important to put in an exhibit. The eyelashes are one of these things.

“That sort of thing you’ll keep, like a lipstick tube of the color that you wore [in a movie]. I have a theme park called Dollywood, and we also have a big museum,” she said. “A lot of that is already there, but every now and then I’m finding something that I don’t want to go in the museum, that I want to keep there at the house, that means more to me than it would to someone else.”

Dolly Parton says ‘The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas’ was particularly difficult to film

Despite the meaning that the eyelashes hold, filming The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas was difficult for Parton. She’d just ended an “affair of the heart” and was feeling forlorn.

“I’m just a person, a human being with very sensitive, deep feelings,” she once told the Irish Times. “Back at the time, I had a lot of things going on. I was going through the change of life. I was having a lot of family problems – not my husband and I, but I was having problems. I was having problems with some business people, and some people near and dear to me were having problems. Just the fact that everything in my whole body and mind was changing.”

Parton says she was grateful that her friends and family helped her navigate the difficult time.

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