1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Fleury
FLEURY [Abraham Joseph Bénard] (1750–1822), French actor, was born at Chartres on the 26th of October 1750, and began his stage apprenticeship at Nancy, where his father was at the head of a company of actors attached to the court of King Stanislaus. After four years in the provinces, he came to Paris in 1778, and almost immediately was made sociétaire at the Comédie Française, although the public was slow to recognize him as the greatest comedian of his time. In 1793 Fleury, like the rest of his fellow-players, was arrested in consequence of the presentation of Laya’s L’Ami des lois, and, when liberated, appeared at various theatres until, in 1799, he rejoined the rehabilitated Comédie Française. After forty years of service he retired in 1818, and died on the 3rd of March 1822. He was notoriously illiterate, and it is probable that the interesting Mémoire de Fleury owes more to its author, Lafitte, than to the subject whose “notes and papers” it is said to contain.