P.J. Pamela Jayne Soles was born on July 17, 1950 in Frankfurt, Germany. Her father came from Holland and her mother from New Jersey. Because her father worked for an international insurance company, the family moved all over the world. P.J. lived in Casablanca, Morocco, and Maracaibo, Venezuela, where she learned to speak fluent Spanish, and then Brussels, Belgium, where she went to high school at the International School of Brussels.
When she was at Briarcliff College, she wanted to become the first woman ambassador to the Soviet Union. That changed when she visited the Actors Studio in New York City. She moved to Manhattan and began acting in commercials and modeling for fashion magazines. She was married to J. Steven Soles during her years in New York. She moved to Los Angeles to work in television and movies. She and Soles got divorced, but she decided to keep the last name Soles.
She met actor Dennis Quaid on the set of Our Winning Season. They were married in 1978 in Texas on a dude ranch. She and Quaid were divorced in 1983. Soles then married Skip Holm, who was the stunt pilot on The Right Stuff. They have two children and were divorced in 1998.