Dynamic thermal postbuckling behavior of functionally graded cylindrical shells with surface-bonded piezoelectric actuators subjected to the combined action of thermal load and applied actuator voltage is studied. The shell material is graded across the thickness according to a power law. The material properties of the functionally graded cylindrical shells are considered to be temperature dependent. The theoretical formulations are based on the Sanders nonlinear kinematic relations, which account for the transverse shear strains, and the third-order shear deformation shell theory is employed. Hamilton's principle is used to derive the equations of motion governing piezoelectric FGM cylindrical shells. A finite difference approximation combined with the Runge-Kutta method is employed to predict the postbuckling equilibrium paths, and the dynamic buckling temperature difference is detected according to Budiansky's stability criterion. Numerical results are presented to demonstrate the effects of the applied actuator voltage, shell geometry, volume fraction exponent in the power-law variation of the FGM, and the temperature dependency of the material properties on the postbuckling behavior of the shell. The results for simpler states are validated with the known results in the literature. 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.