Elena Solovey was born on February 24, 1947, in Neushtrelitz, East Germany. Her father, Yakov Solovey, was an artillery officer in the Red Army. Her mother was a medical nurse. Young Elena Solovey lived in Germany until the age of 4, then moved to Novosibirsk, Siberian Russia, where her father continued his military career, then moved to Moscow.
Elena Solovey had a dream of becoming an actress. She was fond of art, music, films and theatre, and attended a school of music in addition to her high school. Eventually she became a music teacher at a Moscow school. A year later, she was admitted to VGIK (National Institute of Cinema in Moscow), graduating in 1970 as an actress.
Elena Solovey made her film debut in short films during the 1960s, while a VGIK student. In 1969 she played her first serious role as Clarice in Korol-olen (1969) by director Pavel Arsyonov. In 1970 she was invited to the troupe of Maly Theatre in Moscow. There Solovey was cast as Nina in "The Seagull" by Chekhov. Then she married a Leningrad artist, Yuri Pugach, and the couple settled in Leningrad. There Solovey worked at Lenfilm Studios.
During the 1970s Solovey played her best known roles, such as Olga Vosnesenskaya (alluding to Vera Kholodnaya), opposite Rodion Nahapetov in Raba lyubvi (1976), as Sofia opposite Aleksandr Kalyagin in Unfinished Piece for Mechanical Piano (1978), and as Olga opposite Oleg Tabakov in Several Days of Oblomov’s Life (1980), all films by director Nikita Mikhalkov.
From 1983 - 1991 Elena Solovey was member of the troupe at Theatre of Lensoveta in St. Petersburg (Leningrad), Russia.
In the fall of 1991, Solovey emigrated from Russia, and settled in New Jersey with her husband, two children and a grand-daughter. She appeared in Russian films, worked for Russian radio in New York and played in several stage productions of "Bluzhdayushcie zvezdy" (aka.. "Wandering stars") troupe at the Russian area of Brighton Beach. In 2007 she appeared in supporting role as Kalina in We Own the Night (2007), a criminal drama about the Russian mafia.
Elena Solovey was designated People's Actor of Russia. Since 1990s she has been teaching children of Russian emigrants at "Etude" acting school in New Jersey, USA.