P. J. Soles

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P. J. Soles
P. J. Soles in 2015
Pamela Jayne Hardon

(1950-07-17) July 17, 1950 (age 73)
Alma materBriarcliff College
Georgetown University
Years active1973–present
(m. 1973; div. 1975)
(m. 1978; div. 1983)
(m. 1983; div. 1998)

Pamela Jayne Soles (née Hardon; born July 17, 1950)[1] is an American actress. She made her film debut in 1976 as Norma Watson in Brian De Palma's Carrie (1976) before portraying Lynda van der Klok in John Carpenter's Halloween (1978) and Riff Randell in Allan Arkush's Rock 'n' Roll High School (1979).

She has since appeared in a variety of films including Breaking Away (1979), Private Benjamin (1980), Stripes (1981), Sweet Dreams (1985), Jawbreaker (1999), and cult classics like The Devil's Rejects (2005) and Beg (2011). She has been regarded as a scream queen.[2]

Early life[edit]

Soles was born Pamela Jayne Hardon in Frankfurt, Germany, to an American mother from New Jersey, Nancy Hardon (née Seiden), and a Dutch father from Rotterdam, Cornelis Johannes Hardon II.[3][4] Her maternal grandparents were Jewish emigrants from Lithuania and Austria.[5] At the time of her birth, her father was working for an international insurance company and the family moved all over the world. Soles 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.[6]

Soles attended Briarcliff College in White Plains, New York, later transferring to Georgetown University, and had aspirations to become the first woman ambassador to the Soviet Union.[failed verification (See discussion.)] [6] This career goal changed when she visited the Actors Studio in New York City, and Soles was inspired to pursue acting.[6]


Soles moved to Manhattan and began acting in commercials and modeling for fashion magazines. In 1974 she was hired by director Perry Henzell to portray a shampoo model in his film No Place Like Home. It would have been her first film appearance, however Henzell was not able to complete the film until 2006.[7] She relocated to Los Angeles in 1975.[6]

She was among the hundreds of actors auditioning for Brian De Palma and George Lucas in their joint casting session for Carrie (1976) and Star Wars (1977). She originally auditioned for the role of Princess Leia in Star Wars but the role ultimately went to Carrie Fisher.[8] However, she was cast as Norma Watson in Brian De Palma's Carrie. She starred alongside Sissy Spacek, Nancy Allen, John Travolta, Amy Irving and Piper Laurie. Originally, her character was just a minor role, and only supposed to have one line, but De Palma liked her so much that he expanded her role, as the secondary antagonist to Allen's Chris Hargensen.[9] Soles was injured on the set during filming, when a blast from a fire hose during the prom scene ruptured her eardrum.[10]

P.J. Soles in 2008

The same year, she reunited with Carrie co-star John Travolta in Randal Kleiser's television film The Boy in the Plastic Bubble.[11] Subsequently, she went to Georgia to film Our Winning Season (1978) and met actor Dennis Quaid. They were married in 1978 in Texas on a dude ranch, and both appeared in the film Breaking Away in 1979.

She is most known for her performance as Lynda van der Klok in the classic horror film Halloween (1978) directed by John Carpenter, the final victim of the character Michael Myers. Carpenter wanted her for his film Halloween after seeing Carrie.[12] He wrote the role of Lynda specifically for her because of the way she said the word "totally".

The following year, Soles was cast as Riff Randell in the musical comedy film Rock 'n' Roll High School (1979) with The Ramones. She has a singing credit for a second version of the title song on the movie's soundtrack. She reprised the role of Riff Randell in the artwork for the Local H album Whatever Happened to P.J. Soles?.

In 1980, Soles portrayed Private Wanda Winter in the comedy film Private Benjamin. The following year, she portrayed an MP who becomes Bill Murray's girlfriend, Stella Hansen, in the comedy film Stripes.

In 1981, Soles filmed a new scene to be inserted into the television version of Halloween.

In 1985, Soles starred alongside Jessica Lange as Wanda in Karel Reisz's biographical film Sweet Dreams. In 1999, Soles was cast in the black comedy film Jawbreaker. Soles appeared in The Donnas' music video for "Too Bad About Your Girl" (2003) as her character Riff Randell from Rock 'n' Roll High School. In 2005, Soles played the victim, Susan, of a family on a murderous rampage in the Rob Zombie movie The Devil's Rejects. In 2012, she starred alongside Barbara Steele, Heather Langenkamp, Camille Keaton and Adrienne King in The Butterfly Room.

In 2018, Soles was cast in a spoken cameo role as a teacher in the direct sequel, Halloween, directed by David Gordon Green.

Personal life[edit]

She married J. Steven Soles in 1973, when she resided in New York, but then made the move to Los Angeles to work in television and movies. She and Soles subsequently divorced in 1975, although she decided to retain the name P.J. Soles as her stage name. She was later married to actor Dennis Quaid, whom she met on the set of the film Our Winning Season,[13] from 1978 until their divorce in early 1983. Later that same year, she married Skip Holm, who was a stunt pilot on The Right Stuff (1983). They have a son named Sky (born 1983) and a daughter named Ashley (born 1988). She and Holm were divorced in 1998.



Year Title Role Director
1975 Blood Bath (undetermined role) Joel M. Reed
1976 Carrie Norma Watson Brian De Palma
1978 Our Winning Season Cindy Hawkins Joseph Ruben
1978 Halloween Lynda Van Der Klok John Carpenter
1979 Old Boyfriends Sandy Joan Tewkesbury
1979 Breaking Away Suzy Peter Yates
1979 Rock 'n' Roll High School Riff Randell Allan Arkush
1980 Private Benjamin Pvt. Wanda Winter Howard Zieff
1981 Stripes Stella Hansen Ivan Reitman
1981 Soggy Bottom, USA Sharlene Theodore J. Flicker
1984 Listen to the City Sophia Ron Mann
1984 Innocent Prey Cathy Wills Colin Eggleston
1985 Sweet Dreams Wanda Karel Reisz
1988 Saigon Commandos Jean Lassiter Clark Henderson
1989 B.O.R.N. Liz Ross Hagen
1990 Alienator Tara Fred Olen Ray
1991 Soldier's Fortune Debra Arthur N. Mele
1995 The Power Within Mrs. Applegate Art Camacho
1996 Uncle Sam Madge Cronin William Lustig
1997 Little Bigfoot Carolyn Art Camacho
1999 Jawbreaker Mrs. Purr Darren Stein
2000 Blast Deputy Martin Schenk
2000 Mirror Mirror 4: Reflections Annika's Mom Paulette Victor-Lifton
2001 Kept Celia George Santo Pietro
2002 Silence (short) Jan Mateen Osayande Kemet
2005 Pee Stains and Other Disasters Jenny Jon Carnoy
2005 Murder on the Yellow Brick Road Hannah Gruber Ross Hagen
2005 The Devil's Rejects Susan Rob Zombie
2005 Death by Engagement Mrs. Starkington Philip Creager
2006 The Tooth Fairy Mrs. MacDonald Chuck Bowman
2006 Ray of Sunshine Mother Norbert Meisel
2006[a] No Place Like Home P.J. Perry Henzell
2006 Dead Calling Valerie Redmond Mike Nichols
2007 Mil Mascaras vs. the Aztec Mummy (undetermined role)
2008 Love in the Age of Fishsticks God (voice) Yun Shin
2008 Prank Marianne
2008 Alone in the Dark II Martha
2009[b] Imps* (segment: "Soda") Young Lady Scott Mansfield
2011 Beg Eva Fox Kevin MacDonald
2012 Eternal Lucinda Derek Rimelspach
2012 The Butterfly Room Lauren Jonathan Zarantonello
2013 Chastity Bites Lea's Mom (voice) John V. Knowles
2016 Grindsploitation (segment: "Arbor Day") Dr. Ramone Jim Towns
2017 November First (short) Barista
2018 Halloween Teacher (voice cameo) David Gordon Green
2019 No Place like Home: Redux P.J. Perry Henzell
2019 Candy Corn Marcy Taylor Josh Hasty
2019 Killer Therapy Dr. Emily Lewis Barry Jay
2019 Hanukkah Mrs. Horowitz Eben McGarr
TBA 13 Girls Medical Examiner Jim Towns


Year Title Role Notes
1973 Love Is a Many Splendored Thing (undetermined role) Unknown episode(s)
1976 The Blue Knight Minnesota "Upward Mobility" (S2E3)
1976 The Boy in the Plastic Bubble Deborah TV movie
1977 The Possessed Marty TV movie
1977 Alexander: The Other Side of Dawn (undetermined role, uncredited) TV movie
1977 Calling Doctor Storm, M. D. Sarah Baynes Short TV movie
1978 Zuma Beach Nancy TV movie
1982 Romance Theatre Cassie "The Awakening of Cassie" (5 parts)
1983 The Other Woman Mary Louise TV movie
1983 Sawyer and Finn Becky Thatcher TV movie
1983 Simon & Simon 'Crazy Susan' Sackwell "D.J., D.O.A." (S3E2)
1984 Cheers Julie "Rebound: Part 2" (S3E2)
1984 Airwolf Ellie "HX-1" (S2E8)
1984 Simon & Simon Martin Collins "Our Fair City" (S4E10)
1985 Hardcastle and McCormick Ellen Styner "Something's Going on on This Train" (S3E4)
1986 Knight Rider Ellen Whitby "Out of the Woods" (S4E14)
1994 Rebel Highway Evelyn Randall "Shake, Rattle and Rock!"
1995 Out There Religious Nut TV movie

Other credits[edit]

Additional credits

  • B.O.R.N. (1989, associate producer)
  • Prize Fighter (1993 video game, as 'June')
  • Cheap Rodeo: First Night in Heaven (2013 short film, composer)
  • Clown Motel (2016 short film, associate producer)

Self appearances

  • 'Halloween' Unmasked 2000 (1999, video short documentary)
  • Acting 'Carrie' (2001, video short documentary)
  • Halloween: A Cut Above the Rest (2003 TV documentary)
  • E! True Hollywood Story (2004, episode: "Scream Queens")
  • Super Secret Movie Rules (2004, episode: "Slashers")
  • Stars & Stripes 1 (2004, video short documentary)
  • Stars & Stripes 2 (2004, video short documentary)
  • Backstory (2005, episode: "Carrie")
  • 30 Days in Hell: The Making of 'The Devil's Rejects' (2005, video documentary)
  • Horror's Hallowed Grounds (2006, episode: "Halloween")
  • Halloween: The Shape of Horror (2006 short)
  • Working with a Master: John Carpenter (2006, video short documentary)
  • Halloween: 25 Years of Terror (2006, video documentary)
  • The Horrorhound (2007, video documentary)
  • Halloween: The Inside Story (2010, TV documentary)
  • Staying After Class (2010, video short)
  • AM Northwest (2011, episode: "Actress PJ Soles")
  • Framelines (2011, Season 1, Episode 5)
  • Still Screaming: The Ultimate Scary Movie Retrospective (2011, documentary)
  • Underground Entertainment: The Movie (2011, documentary)
  • Without Your Head (2011, podcast, episode: "P.J. Soles")
  • Up from Down (2013, host)
  • Midnight Matinee Psycho (2013, video)
  • Psychotic State (2014 film)
  • The 50 Best Horror Movies You've Never Seen (2014, documentary)
  • Quickies (2015, episode: "P.J. Soles")
  • Horror Kung-Fu Theatre (2015–19, 3 episodes)
  • Where It Was Made (2015, episode: "Halloween")
  • More Acting 'Carrie' (2016, video short documentary)
  • Horror Icon: Inside Michael's Mask with Tony Moran (2016, documentary)
  • Looking Back on 'Innocent Prey' - A Conversation with P.J. Soles (2017, video short)
  • The Bill Murray Experience (2017, documentary)
  • Pickle's Horror Show (2019, episode: "The Ghostman & Rivera Special - Seatbelt Safety")
  • Time Warp: The Greatest Cult Films of All-Time, Parts 1-3 (2019, miniseries documentary)
  • Class of '79: 40 Years of Rock 'N' Roll High School (2019, video documentary)

In popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ Photographed in 1974. Completed in 2006, and released on DVD in 2009.
  2. ^ Filmed in 1983.


  1. ^ Wloszczyna, Susan (June 30, 2020). "9 Milestone Celebrity Birthdays in July". AARP. Retrieved October 31, 2023. July 17: P.J. Soles, 70
  2. ^ "Top Ten Scream Queens". March 11, 2013.
  3. ^ "Nancy Hardon Obituary". Archived from the original on July 26, 2022. Retrieved October 21, 2017 – via Legacy.com.
  4. ^ Bozung, Justin (2014). "P.J. Soles Interview". Archived from the original on April 7, 2015. Retrieved October 21, 2017.
  5. ^ "Jewish Scream Queens, Ranked". October 5, 2021.
  6. ^ a b c d Cziraky, Dan (1995). "Rock N Roll High School Alumni P.J. Soles". Chiller Theatre Magazine. Archived from the original on April 21, 2015.
  7. ^ Kenny, Glenn (August 22, 2019). "'No Place Like Home' Review: Self-Discovery in Jamaica". The New York Times. Archived from the original on August 27, 2019.
  8. ^ "The Almost-Stars of 'Star Wars'". CraveOnline. Retrieved July 18, 2017.
  9. ^ Greco, Patty (October 17, 2013). "P.J. Soles Remembers the Original Carrie, Brian De Palma, and the Inimitable Sissy Spacek". Vulture. Archived from the original on November 15, 2014. Retrieved July 18, 2017.
  10. ^ "'Carrie' Turns 40: Secrets Behind the Iconic Horror Film". ABC News. Archived from the original on October 18, 2017. Retrieved July 18, 2017.
  11. ^ "See the Cast of 'Carrie' Then and Now". Screen Crush. Archived from the original on April 9, 2014. Retrieved July 18, 2017.
  12. ^ Exclusive: A Talk with P.J. Soles
  13. ^ Keaton, Bob (May 25, 1978). "Film Affair Blossoms Into Real Romance". Fort Lauderdale News. Retrieved October 25, 2022. While making the movie, P.J. Soles and Dennis Quaid met, fell in love, and are now planning to get married Thanksgiving.
  14. ^ Video on YouTube
  15. ^ Daley, Dom (February 22, 2014). "The Breakdowns - Uber Rock Interview Exclusive". Uber Rock. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved October 21, 2017.

External links[edit]