American actor Denzel Washington . Picture: Bang Showbiz

Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington is set to return to Broadway in the autumn of 2018.

The 62-year-old actor is poised to star in a 14-week run of Eugene O'Neill's 'The Iceman Cometh' at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre in the spring, when he will be directed by five-time Tony winner George C. Wolfe.

Speaking to the New York Post newspaper, Denzel said: "I'm very excited to come back to Broadway in this great play and to be working on it with George Wolfe."

The Academy Award-winning star will play the part of Hickey - a travelling salesman with a secret - in the production.

The character, who is considered to be one of the most challenging roles on Broadway, has previously been played by the likes of James Earl Jones and Kevin Spacey.

Despite being one of the best-paid stars in Hollywood, Denzel has always been open about his love of the theatre.

In fact, the acclaimed actor admitted earlier this year that his early ambitions always revolved around stage productions, rather than the more lucrative movie business.

He explained: "My first two roles were 'The Emperor Jones' and 'Othello'. I never thought about movies. I started acting in the mid-1970s, when 'Mean Streets' and 'Taxi Driver' and 'Marathon Man' were the kind of movies I was seeing as an actor. 

"It was not like I grew up wanting to be an actor, I never thought about it, but I was introduced to acting through theatre. And fortunately, the first two plays I did were Eugene O'Neill and Shakespeare. So I was a snob before I knew it. 

"I thought that one day I'd work on Broadway and earn $600 (R7 900) a week and that would be fine. It wasn't the goal to get to Hollywood."