The actor, who was born in Holywell in north east Wales, made his breakthrough screen performance in Terry Gilliam's Brazil. An experienced stage and screen actor, he won an Olivier Award in 1980 for his performance in Hamlet and is well known for his recent appearances in the Pirates of the Caribbean series of films.
Jonathan Pryce, as Mr Buxton in the BBC adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell's Cranford
Artistic Director at the Almeida Theatre, Michael Attenborough - who will direct the play in 2012 - said: "I think Jonathan will be able to portray a king who could exercise power quite brutally when he wanted to, and then be devastated at the loss of that power. He's my perfect Lear."
Dates and further casting for King Lear at the Almeida are yet to be announced.